The current Dog Control Ordinance imposes restrictions on the entry of dogs into fenced children’s play areas and requires them to be kept on a lead within three meters of roads.
People are also limited to walking up to six dogs at a time and must clean up their mess if they clog up a public place.
The three-year ordinance was approved last year and aims to tackle antisocial behavior by irresponsible dog owners. It is now set to be revoked and replaced by a new version, but after a public consultation identified other areas that were to be covered by the restrictions.
A report to the Cannock Chase Council cabinet said: ‘These areas included other children’s play areas, tennis courts, multi-purpose play areas, skateboard parks, cycle paths (BMX or pump) and war memorials. The consultation also highlighted instances where requiring dogs to be leashed when asked to do so in all public spaces, not just on or near the motorway, would be beneficial – for example to deal with dog-on-dog attacks.
The report found complaints of dog soiling in the district fell from 96 in 2016-17 to 70 in 2018-19, but fell to 104 in 2020-21. There were 88 complaints in 2021-2022.
Stray dog complaints fell from 168 in 2016-17 to 28 in 2020-21. There were 46 complaints about stray dogs in 2021-2022.
Cabinet members approved the replacement order at their meeting on Thursday.
Council leader Olivia Lyons backed the extra measures after a family member’s dog was attacked, while deputy leader Bryan Jones recalled a time when six Alsatians ran towards him.
He said: “The owner said they were friendly and I thought they were anything but. It was intimidating for me – God knows what it would be for others.
“We all know that dog fouling is a big problem and anything we can do to address these complaints is a good thing. We want people to use parks and open spaces; what we don’t want are kids walking in dog poop.
Councilor Lyons said: ‘I think it’s right that we listen to the residents. We want to encourage them to be able to get out and enjoy our playgrounds and open spaces and we want them to be able to do so safely.
“It’s not too restrictive and the majority of people are responsible dog owners.”