Posted by: tteditor | April 5, 2012

Proposed dog walking rule for borough

NewsRichmond Council are proposing to extend existing dog control orders and restrict the number of dogs that can be walked on public land to four. This is with a view to tackle irresponsible dog walkers who use council land – including parks and open spaces (this does not affect Bushy and Richmond Royal Parks).

This is still at a consultation stage and you can register your views on this issue by emailing the Head of Parks at trees@parks@richmond.gov.uk – the deadline for feedback is 12th April 2012.


Notices have been posted in council-owned park areas

Already a hotly debated topic, concerns have been raised that professional dog walking companies visit the borough, sometimes walking up to 15 dogs at a time, because nearby boroughs already have such limits in place. Specific issues include fouling and generally keeping dogs under control in these areas.

Councillor Virginia Morris: “Dog owners are important users of our parks and Richmond Council promotes and encourages responsible dog ownership. Most owners are conscientious; however, a small minority are not and this spoils the enjoyment of our open spaces and parks for others.”

Opponents to this new rule argue that dog owners that currently have more than four dogs may be forced to walk their dogs separately, find alternative dog walking areas or even be forced to re-home some dogs.

Reputable dog walking companies in the borough will also be hit by this ruling – potentially losing business and driving up their charges if they cannot walk as many dogs simultaneously. It has also been noted that this ruling would affect responsible as well as irresponsible dog owners/walkers equally.

There is an online petition to limit the maximum instead to six, that has already received over 600 signatures against this proposal. If 1,000 are collected then the petition can be presented at a council meeting and the ruling can be debated further.

[Update 06/04/2012] Separately, the government are also planning to clean-up our Royal Parks through on-the-spot penalties for littering, failing to clear up after dogs. The new laws are expected to start in July.


Responses

  1. I am owned by one dog but often walk pets of friends and neighbours. My limit is three at a time, and these are dogs I know well. Having had one of these attacked by a dog-walker’s charge on two occasions, and on remonstrating was advised in no uncertain terms that “I am insured” I feel something should be done to limit the number of dogs walked at one time. Having said that, I know a couple of dog walkers (co-incidently both girls) who walk four or more dogs, always friendly and under control. This appears to be an insoluble problem. My question is that why in heavens name do people buy dogs when they are unable or unwilling to care for them properly? This is the irresponsibility that should be tackled and a licence fee for dogs at the same rate for that for a TV just might make people think twice.

  2. I find it utterly imcomprehensible why a professional dog walker who has trained and can train others to look after and control their dogs be disallowed from entering a park where the animals can have a run and socialise. We are told we need to work; we are told there is unemployment; we are told to ensure our dogs are obedient – so why on earth cannot people who pay their taxes work and for a living; help others to ensure their dogs are socialied and obdedient – responsible pet owners, like myself, have to work so it is hugely valuable to be able to employ the services of a dog walker; I also take my dogs to training classes to enesure they remain controlled.

    There are the odd rogue dog walker who just do the job for a quick buck but the ones I know are capable and responsible. Riverside Dog Trainers are one of the best.

    What do I do if these people are unable to work?? People who are irresponsible and have vicious dogs win again! Battersea will become overcrowded as people cannot look after their dogs.

    The Royal Parks are absolutely determined to ensure that they make money out of the public, they wanted to implement car parking, now £300 for a licence, whatever next I guess obviously an entrance fee!!


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