POLICE and council officers are joining forces in a bid to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.
They will be on the look-out for dogs off leads on public highways, suspected banned breeds and dogs in prohibited areas.
The move comes three weeks after two dogs escaped from a house in Hollington and mauled five people.
Spencer Brown admitted eight charges when he appeared before Hastings magistrates and is awaiting sentence at crown court.
Councillor Phil Scott, lead member for environment, said: “Following the unfortunate recent events involving dangerous dogs we are committed to ensuring the safety of the town’s residents.
“We would like to take the opportunity to remind residents for the need to keep dogs on a lead at all times on a public highway, in Lower Alexandra Park between 8am and 6pm, in St Leonards Gardens between 9am and 6pm, and the Upper Rose Garden, Warrior Square Gardens between 9am and 6pm. Dogs also have to be on a lead between May 1 and September 30 on the beach area between groynes one and three.”
He added: “We would also like to remind residents that dogs are excluded from all playgrounds, Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs), skate parks, tennis courts, bowls greens and the water bodies in Alexandra Park and St Leonards Gardens. Between May 1 and September 30 dogs are also excluded from the beach area from the Harbour Arm to the Pier and between groynes 32 and 42.”
For dog fouling offences or dogs off leads, fixed penalty fines of £75 are likely to be enforced. To report dog attacks on a person contact Sussex Police on 101. Dog attacks on other dogs or animals should be reported to Hastings Borough Council on 01424 451066. Any another information regarding dogs, such as fouling or out of control behaviour, should be sent to the council via email@example.com. Lost and found stray dogs can be reported to Animal Wardens Ltd on 0845 241 7253. For details regarding dog control issues visit www.hastings.gov.co.uk/dog control.
Alongside this, Hastings Borough Council is also launching a new initiative to deal with dog fouling.
Under the Green Dog Walkers scheme, it has enlisted the help of volunteers who have signed a pledge to always clean up after their dog and carry extra dog waste bags to hand over to pet owners without one.
Cllr Emily Westley, lead member for leisure and amenities said:
“This is a terrific scheme aimed at encouraging dog owners to take the pledge to always clean up after their dog, to carry extra dog bags and to gladly give you a bag for your dog - just ask. Green Dog Walkers can be recognised by the Green Dog Walkers logo on the badges they wear. We are committed to changing attitudes to dog fouling in the town and this scheme offers an ideal opportunity to make our parks and open spaces safe, healthy environments for all.”
The council hopes residents will get more involved in the scheme and that it raises awareness that after two weeks on the ground, dog waste harbours diseases including toxacara canis, roundworm, salmonella and E-coli which can result in pneumonia, asthma and blindness. For more information visit www.hastings.gov.uk/greendogwalkers or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01424 451066.
Dog chipping will be offered at a discount price of £10 by rangers at the dog show in Alexandra Park on Monday, August 27.