Owner ordered to muzzle his dog in public

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Two dog owners from Newton-le-Willows have been fined a combined total of £1,870 after being prosecuted by St Helens Council for failing to comply with legislation.

Paul Steven Lewis, 55, of Mercer Street, Newton-le-Willows was prosecuted under Anti-Social Behaviour legislation, after his conduct was deemed by St Helens Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service as being persistent and of continuing nature - and having detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality after refusing to comply with the directives of a Community Protection Notice served in June 2017.

The requirements placed on Lewis by the Community Protection Notice were clear, and included the requirement to fit his crossbreed dog with a muzzle when in a public place.

This action was the result of documented incidents on no fewer than three occasions of Lewis failing to control his dog, leading to a number of complaints.

Lewis was fined £500, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50, with costs of £500.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Nicola Walker, 51, of Birley Street, Newton-le-Willows was found guilty in her absence at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates’ Court of failing to have her dog microchipped, as prescribed by the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.

The court heard how Walker’s dog was seized as a stray dog in December 2017 and on claiming her dog from St Helens Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service, she was served with a notice under section 12 (a) of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, requiring her to update the details of her dog’s microchip within 21 days.

Walker failed to comply despite being served with a ‘Final Opportunity to Comply’ notice, effectively giving a dog owner an extra 7 days to meet the requirements of the legislation.

She was fined £400, with costs of £380 – and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40.

Coun Lynn Clarke, cabinet member for better neighbourhoods, said: “Community Protection Notices are issued for a good reason, and that’s to protect the public and also their pet animals from dogs that have a proven history of aggression.

“Without formal intervention from the service, it is probable that the behaviour of the dog, if left unchecked, would have led to further incidents, with potentially more serious consequences.

“As for microchipping legislation, dog owners were given enough notice prior to it becoming compulsory in April 2016, so just over two years on, there can be no excuses and we will continue to challenge those who break the law.”