Take dogs off the ignorant

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:58 15 June 2010

As a responsible dog owner for many years, I am very much against the proposed stricter controls on dogs across East Devon. It is the dogs that are going to be punished and suffer, yet again, for their owners' ignorance. I live in Feniton now, after 20

As a responsible dog owner for many years, I am very much against the proposed stricter controls on dogs across East Devon. It is the dogs that are going to be punished and suffer, yet again, for their owners' ignorance.I live in Feniton now, after 20 years in Honiton. Due to the filthy people, who persistently left their dogs mess behind in Feniton Playing Fields, there is now a dog ban in force on this privately-owned land. There is now nowhere in Feniton that dogs can be exercised off the lead. To add insult to injury, these same people are now fouling the private land either side of a public footpath behind a local riding stable, as well as allowing their dogs to run freely over these private fields - much to the anger of the farmer who owns the land. Dogs need exercise and socialising and, in Feniton, this is nigh on impossible. The footpaths are often too muddy to use and the roads lack pavements and are very treacherous to walk along due to the speeding motorists. Where are we supposed to walk our dogs safely, even on lead? I really feel strongly that the punishment should be on the dog owners who don't pick up after their pets and fail to keep control of their dogs (particularly aggressive ones) while in public places - not by making new laws, but by enforcing the present ones more efficiently. Increase the fines and the number of people who are prosecuted for such things as dog fouling (anywhere but in ones own garden!); for lack of control of aggressive dogs; for trespass on private land. And, for those who don't comply, take their dogs away!In my 25 years of dog walking, I have never seen a dog warden! So I wonder who will enforce the proposed new rules? Will it be the same few dog wardens who are already failing to impress upon the ignorant few the need to be responsible!? What is the point of new laws if the present ones are not enforced? Alison SturleyFeniton

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