ST Helens Council has revealed the number of dog fouling fines it has issued since 2017.
Kennel Store has conducted freedom of information requests for every local district in the UK regarding dog fouling fines over the past five years.
Data shows St Helens issued 11 fines in 2017; five in 2018, none in 2019; one in 2020, and none in 2021 – a total of 17 since 2017.
Neil Hutchinson, of Kennel Store, said: “We carried out the following study because we know that the biggest annoyance affecting dogs in the UK is dog soiling.
“The UK is a nation of dog lovers, and with data indicating that there are around 12.9 million dogs in Britain, there’s no denying that we are a country of canine companions.
“But when it comes to walking your dog, Kennel Store wanted to see which councils in the UK are most vigilant in fining people for their dogs defecating on the pavement.
“Dog fouling is illegal in the UK and the law states that not knowing a dog has gotten soiled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse and could lead to penalties for dog walkers.
“Not only that, but it’s extremely dangerous because contact with dog feces can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures.
“While investigating the fine procedures in each district council, we found that some councils do not apply fines, and alternatively they provide education on why it is dangerous not to picking up dog feces and the importance of keeping our streets clean.”
St Helens Council says it has a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to any form of litter, fouling and fly dumping and will not hesitate to apply ‘whenever and wherever’ it has evidence sufficient.
A spokesperson added: “Our parks and open spaces are vital places and we are committed to making them as accessible and engaging as possible for residents.
“We have a total of 502 dog bins in our parks, highways and rural paths, not to mention hundreds of normal bins, all regularly emptied, into which bagged dog waste can be thrown – so there is absolutely no no excuse for dog soiling or any other form of litter.
“We have dedicated street cleaning teams and environmental guards on the streets and in our green spaces every day, but ultimately it is up to dog owners to clean up after their pet.
“It is also true that environmental guardians must have sufficient evidence and statements to support complainants to impose a sanction, and so we encourage residents to report dog soiling to us through our contact center. online at www.sthelens.gov.uk/ report a concern or by calling 01744 676789.”