dog walker with dogs on leash
Dog Walkers,  Industry News

Devon dog walkers face limits on numbers they can walk

Councillors in North Devon want their new public space protection orders (PSPO) to include putting a limit on the number of pets walked by professional dog walkers.

The PSPO will put a limit on the number of dogs that can be walked to six with a further requirement that at least three must be on a “short lead”.

Only three dogs will be allowed to be exercised off-lead or be walked on extendible or stretchy leads when under the control of a single person.

Restrictions also include keeping dogs on leads in cemeteries, and in areas of Braunton Burrows at certain times of the year, as well as banning dogs from sports pitches and children’s play areas, on high tide roosting sites between October and March and Croyde Bay or Combe Martin beaches between May and September. Anyone not complying with the order could receive a £100 fixed penalty fine.

North Devon District Council is reviewing the order with a six-week public consultation to follow and hopes to move “seamlessly” to a new order from 1 January 2024.

Environmental Health Officer Daryl Littlejohns told members of the council’s Strategy and Resources Committee that limiting the amount of dogs that could be walked would be “a contentious subject” and “likely to divide opinion”.

He reportedly told the committee: “There is a proliferation of professional dog walkers and no limits as to how many dogs they have. Alongside the use of licensing and voluntary schemes that promote ‘best practice’ in commercial activity, we aim to consider the merits of a control on the number of dogs a single person can walk at any one time which would equally apply to domestic and social walkers.”

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