Dog owners spark outrage after letting pets 'defecate on graves'

Dog Poo Bin, Western Lawns

Dog Poo Bin, Western Lawns

Wikimedia Commons Licences
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 19/07/2023

- 22:26

A local council unveiled plans to stop ‘irresponsible owners’ from letting their pooches poo on graves

Dog owners have sparked outrage after letting their four-legged friends “defecate on graves”.

Councillors in a leafy English borough have reacted to issues in the local area by approving new measures to impose further controls against dog owners.

Waverley Borough Council in Surrey passed two public protection orders at a full meeting on July 18.

The first measure imposes controls on dog fouling.

A woman walks her dogs through leaves in Birmingham's Redhouse

A woman walks her dogs through leaves in Birmingham's Redhouse


The second introduces fresh measures to keep canines on leads.

It is now an offence to allow a pooch to poo on publicly owned land without immediately bagging and disposing of the waste.

The controls will be updated and reviewed every three years.

Spot fines of up to £100 can be handed out to anybody caught breaking the orders.

Another image of a dog waste bin

Another image of a dog waste bin

Creative Commons Licences

Borough Council leader Paul Follows revealed the decision came after it became clear the issue was “by far and away the most responded to survey every single time we do this, repeatedly, above even things as substantial as climate change”.

Councillor Tony Fairlclough, portfolio holder for enforcement and regulatory services, said: “The key reason for the recommendation is specifically to address issues caused by irresponsible dog owners, not the dogs themselves.

“The controls also seek to educate these dog owners of their responsibilities.”

Fairclough added: “We are asking the public to do better…by educating and informing of the consequences and by putting in measures that if they are irresponsible we have the means to penalise them for doing so.”

Councillor Jacquie Keen also said: “We all know the irresponsible dog owners really don’t care.

Dog owners and walkers enjoy the open spaces of Ashton Court Estate, Bristo

Dog owners and walkers enjoy the open spaces of Ashton Court Estate, Bristo


"Even if they put their dog rubbish in a bag, it gets thrown on the ground, hung on a tree, left on somebody's wall or for children to walk on on the pavements, but equally my concern is where dog owners have taken their dogs off leash in the cemeteries and I’ve had reports from Sunvale Cemetery where the dogs are defecating on the graves and it's really sad."

Dog fouling complaints have fallen drastically since measures were first introduced in 2018.

However, 68 per cent of respondents to the council’s survey said it was still an issue.

Waverley Council owns and clears 269 litter bins in its parks and open spaces that accept dog waste with a further 556 bins on the streets.

It said it costs £132,500 to empty and clean them each year and that each additional bin costs between £300 and £500 to purchase and install.

Emptying bins also costs around £3, which is roughly the equivalent of £156 per year if done weekly.

You may like