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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Dogs

General

Does the dog warden deal with cats?

The Dog Warden Service only deals with dogs. Cats are free to roam where they wish and they are not subject to any controls when doing so.

What is the RSPCA’s telephone number?

The RSPCA can be contacted on 0870 55 55 999 or accessed through their website at www.rspca.org.uk

My neighbour’s dog is always barking and causing a noise nuisance, what can I do?

Dogs do bark, but it isn’t natural or necessary for them to bark continuously. If you are having a problem with a neighbour’s barking dog then you have two main options. First, for the sake of keeping on good terms, you should consider approaching your neighbour and politely let them know that their dog is causing a problem. The dog’s owner is often unaware that this is the case and it would be helpful to them if you could explain when the dog tends to bark. It is important not to get cross with your neighbour even though the barking may have made you feel that way.

Secondly, If this approach fails, or if you feel unable to approach your neighbour, you can contact the Public Protection Department to make a complaint - you can do this by completing an online noise pollution form, or by calling 01978 298989, or by email: Contact-Us@wrexham.gov.uk.

Unfortunately complaints cannot be made anonymously. For your complaint to be dealt with you must supply your name, full address and either an email address or telephone number where you can be contacted. The dog barking must be witnessed in person by an Officer from this Department and so it will be necessary to arrange to visit you in your property.

You will also need to provide the address where the dog is kept. Initially our response is to write to you asking you to complete monitoring forms over a 2-4 week period and return these to us if the barking persists. At the same time we will write to the owner of the dog advising them that a complaint has been made, but your details are not revealed at this stage. Most alleged noise nuisances are resolved at this early stage, but if the barking persists, the Public Protection Department will carry out its own monitoring and if a noise nuisance is established, an abatement notice can be served. Failure to comply with the notice is an offence.

What happens if the noise occurs outside your office hours?

This can be overcome by the use of our noise monitoring equipment which can be installed in your home and is easy to operate. It allows you to make direct recordings of the barking which can be played back to the same level. Alternatively we do offer to make three one-hour visits to your home at times which are most likely to coincide with the dog barking, day or night. We will only do this once we have given the dog’s owner an opportunity to control the barking and once you have completed and returned our noise monitoring forms.

I breed dogs; do I need a licence?

Generally, you do need a licence to breed dogs but this depends on number of litters produced each year. More that four litters in any year would be classed as a business and would definitely need a licence. More information on this issue can be obtained from the Public Protection Department on 01978 298989, email: contact-us@wrexham.gov.uk or by completing the online enquiry form.

I have a complaint about dog fouling, what can I do?

Generally, a person who is in control of a dog and who allows it to foul a public place without removing the deposit is committing an offence. The Environment Department's Enforcement Officers have the responsibility for trying to stop this behaviour. We can help you by carrying out patrols in your area, but the more information you can provide to us about the individuals who are allowing this to happen, or the times that they exercise their dog, the more likely we will witness an offence being committed. Where we witness an offence, we will endeavour to serve a £75 fixed penalty notice on the offender.

Alternatively, you could act as a witness yourself and we will consider using your evidence to take action against the offender. You can contact the Public Protection Department to report a problem with dog fouling or to find out how you can act as a witness to a dog fouling offence - you can do this by completing an online complaint form, or by calling 01978 298989, or by email: Contact-Us@wrexham.gov.uk. You will need to supply your name, address and other contact details if we are to act on your complaint.

If your neighbourhood is badly fouled and you would like certain pavements to be cleaned, you can contact Wrexham Council on 01978 298989.

Can we have some ‘no dog fouling’ signs please?

There are already many “no dog fouling” signs throughout the County Borough and we have to be careful about not creating eyesores from excessive signage. It also appears to be the case that few people take notice of the signs in the long term. Nevertheless, the Environmental Enforcement Officers of the Public Protection Department can arrange for signs to be erected in your neighbourhood, particularly if fouling is occurring frequently. To arrange this you can contact the Enforcement Officers on 01978 298989, email: Contact-Us@wrexham.gov.uk or by completing the online enquiry form.

Why are there no dog bins?

There are already a large number of litter bins available throughout the County Borough and these can be used to accept dog fouling wrapped in a plastic bag or contained in a conventional “pooper-scooper”. Separate dog fouling bins have to be bought and cost more to empty. If more bins are to be bought it is better to provide additional litter bins which can accept both dog fouling and litter. We want to send out a clear message that dog waste should be cleaned up and put in any litter bin or taken home.

How do I go about having my dog micro-chipped?

Your local veterinary surgery can advise whether they are able to micro-chip your dog, details of which can be found in the business telephone directory. Any dogs seized by our Dog Warden Service are scanned for micro-chips and we will endeavour to contact the owner if their details are revealed by a micro-chip. We cannot guarantee that the chip will be detected in all cases. Also look out for the dog chipping events held by the Council who work alongside the Dogs Trust.

I have found a dog, what do I do with it?

If you find a stray dog you need to contact the Council’s Dog Warden Service on the following number 01978 298989 during normal working hours.

Normal Dog Warden service

Monday - Friday 08.30am to 17.30pm

Out-of-hours dog service

Monday-Friday 17.30pm–08.30am and weekends and Bank Holidays

During normal working hours the Dog Warden Service will collect the dog from you provided we can be satisfied that the dog is not you own. During our out-of-hours service we operate a collection service until 10pm in the evening and after this time a reception service will be offered. For this service please phone 01978 292055.

I have lost my dog, has the Dog Warden picked it up?

If you have lost your dog, you should notify the Dog Warden Service on 01978 298989 normal working hours and 01978 292055 for out-of-hours service and enquire whether your dog has been handed in.

Dog Fouling

As a dog owner how can I avoid paying a penalty if I’m out with my dog?

The simplest solution is to train your dog to go at home before you take him for a walk. However, you should always be prepared to clean up after your dog and should always carry some means of picking up the waste. Always carry at least two poop scoop bags for each dog every time you walk your dog.

What if there are no signs informing me to pick up my dogs’ waste?

Wrexham County Borough Council Dog Control Orders 2009 covers almost all land open to the public with very few exceptions. Lack of signs is no defence if you are caught allowing your dog to foul and not removing the waste.

What can I use to pick up the waste?

Waste can be picked up using an ordinary plastic carrier bag since they are inexpensive and easily carried. There are many “poop scoop” devices that can be obtained from pet stores, vets and other pet suppliers.

What if there are no bins nearby?

Dog waste suitably wrapped in a plastic bag or similar can be disposed of in any litter bin or dog waste bin. If none are available nearby, you should be prepared to carry the waste home where it can be disposed of with your normal household waste. Lack of bins is no defence should you be caught leaving dog waste behind. This also applies to littering offences, all litter should be taken home if there is no litter bin nearby.

Would I be responsible if I’m walking somebody else’s dog that fouls

Yes. Wrexham County Borough Council Dog Control Orders 2009 places responsibility to clear up any waste on ‘the person in charge of the dog’. This need not be the dogs’ owner. If you are caught allowing a dog to foul and not removing the waste you are liable for the offence regardless of who actually owns the dog.

What can I do if I know of somebody who doesn’t clean up after his or her dog?

If you wish to report the matter it would help to take some details of the offender, the dog, and note the time and place the incident occurred. This information should be passed to the Enforcement Officers at the earliest opportunity who will decide whether the matter can be taken further. The more accurate and specific the information that is provided, the greater the chance that this will result in a dog fouler being penalised. Report a dog fouling problem online.

Where does the money from the fixed penalties go?

The monies collected from the fixed penalties is now retained by the Council. All revenue raised will be used to further improve the service we provide and ensure that our streets, parks and other public places remain clean, safe and pleasant places to be.