Dog ownership

This page holds the information you need to know to enjoy your time with your pet, but not to fall foul of the law.

Dog control orders

In certain parts of the district including parks, open spaces and some beaches, we have put dog control orders in place. These orders will normally insist that a dog is kept on a lead and in some cases banned altogether (such as parts of the beach in Whitstable and Herne Bay). Penalty charge notices can be issued for the following reasons:

  • walking a dog in a dog ban area;
  • failure to keep a dog on a lead in a controlled area;
  • failure to clean up after a dog has fouled; and
  • failure to control a dog when requested to do so.

Penalty charge notices must be paid within 60 days, or a court summons may be issued resulting in a fine of up to £1000.

Dog fouling

You can report dog fouling online, especially if you are aware of a regular offender at the same time and place.

Apart from agricultural and forestry land, you must clear up after your dog. This includes beaches, footpaths, highways, parks, public gardens and council land. A lack of signs or dog waste bins is not an excuse for not doing so.

Specially designed poop scoops can be purchased from vets' surgeries or pet shops. If a red dog waste bin is unavailable, litter bins may be used if the mess is bagged and sealed. Plastic supermarket carrier bags can be used to do so.

Fixed penalty notices of £80 can be issued by council inspectors for anyone who does not comply with the regulations. 

Collars and microchips

The law states that all dogs must wear a collar and tag displaying the owner's name and address. This includes dogs fitted with microchips.

Dangerous dogs

Certain breeds of dog must be muzzled and neutered. Police enforce this legislation. If a dog attacks a person, this must be reported to the police.

Injured dogs

If a dog is being mistreated, the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) should be informed. If a stray dog is harmed we will ensure its proper treatment.

Responsible dog ownership

There are already more unwanted dogs than can ever be found homes for. If you want to get your pet neutered and are in receipt of benefits, your local RSPCA branch may be able to offer some financial assistance.

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