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Dogs & Animal Welfare (including Dog Control Orders)

Information about the service the Council provides in relation to tackling dog fouling, Dog Control Orders and dealing with stray dogs. Also, advice on animal welfare issues, such as kennels and good dog ownership.

Dog Fouling

Dog fouling is an issue on which the Council receives many complaints from the public.  The Council recognises the real and justifiable level of concern within the community both on environmental and health grounds and has responded to this by resolving to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling offences.

Various Council staff are authorised to issue fixed penalty notices if they witness a dog fouling offence and regular patrols are undertaken in an effort to catch those responsible.  Should the Council have evidence that a dog owner has not cleaned up any mess left by his or her dog, a fixed penalty notice of £75.00 may be issued or a fine of up to £1,000 be imposed by a Magistrates Court.  Clearly it's far cheaper to 'Scoop that Poop'! (see download below).  Poop-scoop bags are available to purchase from Torridge District Council offices.

Help us to help you – if you witness an offence please complete the online report form to the right.  You may also contact Torridge District Council's Environmental Protection Team on 01237 428810 or at 

Information can be given confidentially


  • Always carry a poop scoop with you just in case your dog decides to foul where he/she shouldn't
  • Be considerate, do not exercise your dog in a children's play area, a school field or sports ground, or ornamental gardens
  • If there is no poop scoop bin available, please take the waste home with you to dispose of
  • Worm your dog at regular intervals throughout the year – ask your vet for advice
  • Never allow your dog to wander unsupervised in a public place

Dog Control Orders in the Torridge district

Torridge District Council has introduced Dog Control Orders under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005.  The Orders replace certain byelaws and the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and come into effect from 1st May 2013.  The new Orders aim to provide a more flexible and effective system for controlling dogs within Torridge.

The Council has introduced Dog Control Orders to control 4 offences, as follows:-

(i)       failing to remove dog faeces on public open land;

(ii)      not keeping a dog on a lead in certain places;

(iii)     not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so in certain places;

(iv)     permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded.

One important difference between Dog Control Orders and existing byelaws is in providing the option to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to offenders of £75 (£50 if paid within 10 days).

Copies of the new Orders, including maps showing areas affected, are available here pdf icon Dog Control Orders [860kb], and the Order for Northam Burrows is here pdf icon Dog Control Order for Northam Burrows [188kb] or can be viewed at the Council's Riverbank House offices in Bideford.

For more information please contact Environmental Protection on 01237 428810 or email

Stray Dogs in Torridge


If you have collected a stray dog during office hours, please contact Environmental Protection on 01237 428810.  Provided an officer is available, we will arrange to collect it from you.  If the Council is unable to arrange a collection on the same day, finders will be advised to either take the dog to one of the Council's reception centres   (details will be provided) or requested to hold on to the dog until collection can be arranged.

For dogs found in Torridge overnight or at weekends, the finder should telephone the out-of-hours Standby Officer, who will record details of the dog and advise which of our three reception centres are available to receive and kennel the animal outside normal office hours awaiting contact from its owner.  To contact the Standby Officer outside normal opening times, call TDC on 01237 428700 and wait for the emergency contact information.  There is no collection or delivery service overnight or at weekends. 


If you have lost your dog, please contact Environmental Protection during office hours on 01237 428810.  If you are contacting outside normal office hours, please contact the Council's Standby Officer (see above), who will take details and provide advice.  Unfortunately, the loss of a dog can become very expensive for its owner.  If a dog is taken into the care of a Council, a government fine of £25.00 is imposed, plus handling, administrative and kennelling fees.  Sometimes veterinary treatment is also necessary and is reclaimed.  As a guide, someone claiming a dog from Torridge Council can expect to be charged about £68.50 plus £15.50 per second or subsequent night the dog has spent in kennels.

Dogs that are not claimed must be held for seven days, after which they are passed to an animal charity for re-homing.


Microchipping is a simple and safe procedure.  If your animal is picked up straying (or has been stolen), a widely available scanner will detect the microchip and read its unique code.  All your details are recorded and centrally available 24 hours a day for official users only.  Scanners are routinely used by rescue kennels, animal  welfare officers and dog wardens all over the country.  However, you must remember to update your contact details if you change phones numbers or your address, so that you and your dog can be reunited as soon as possible. 

Owners wanting their dogs microchipped can have this done by a vet or by the Torridge Animal Welfare Officer (contact details to the right).

Dangerous Dogs

In relation to 'dangerous dogs', either those of the specified breeds or those that have attacked a person, these remain to be dealt with jointly by the Council & the Police.  Enquiries should be directed to the Environmental Protection Team (contact details on the right of this page) or the out-of-hours Torridge Council number can be accessed via 01237 428700.  In an emergency situation, dial 999 and ask for the Police.

Animal Welfare

There are some useful downloads below.  If you have any queries in relation to animal welfare issues, please contact the Animal Welfare Officer via the Environmental Protection Team (details to the right).

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