OFFICERS from Taunton Deane Borough Council’s environmental health and licensing teams carry out Dog Action Days across the district to raise awareness about responsible dog ownership.

Topics covered include picking up after your dog, keeping dogs under control in public spaces and not allowing dogs to stray.

Officers work with town and parish councils to identify and target specific problem areas.

They then go out in force to educate people about the local bylaws, dog fouling, micro chipping legislation and licensed animal boarding establishments.

The council receives an average of 70 complaints a year from residents experiencing dog fouling issues.

If you are seen allowing your dog to foul in a public space a fixed penalty notice of £50 will be issued which could lead to a fine of £1,000.

Cllr Patrick Berry, executive councillor for environmental services, said: “There is no excuse for not picking up after any dog in your care.

“As a nation of animal lovers it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that owners look after their dogs properly, and that includes respecting the environment and the people that share it.

“Educating dog owners is a very important part of the work carried out by our staff and we hope it will lead to less need for enforcement action.”

The council picks up more than 170 stray dogs a year.

Since April 2016, dogs are now legally required to be micro-chipped as well as having a collar and tag with the name and address of the owner under the Control of Dogs Order 1992.

Discovery of a non-micro-chipped dog will result in the issue of a notice requiring the dog to be chipped within 21 days, after which, a fine of £500 can be issued.

The team also remind dog owners of the importance of ensuring that they leave their pets with a licensed animal boarding establishment while on holiday.

Other businesses offering similar services may not offer the minimum standards that a licensed establishment has to comply with by law or be properly insured should something go wrong.

Where dog owners are using commercial dog walkers, they should ensure these people have control over their dogs in public open spaces and pick up after the dogs in their care.

For more information on animal boarding establishments, dog micro chipping, reporting a stray dog or responsible dog ownership visit