Dog Control Order Farcical

The Dog Walker has been angered by Leeds City Council's lack of understanding with regards to how companies like ourselves operate. The council have decided to reduce the maximum number of dogs (for Leeds alone) that a professional dog walker (business/company or individual) can walk at any one time to a maximum of four. This is after the council board had decided a limit of six on November 3rd 2010 following a public consultation to which The Dog Walker had taken part in. At this point The Dog Walker had no issue with what was proposed as it had no affect on how they operated as a company.


As they have found out today, on December 15th 2010 the council changed their mind, (Maximum FOUR). This has a potential crippling affect on the business with hourly earnings being reduced by 35%! This during the worst economic times we have all had to face for many years with everything going up in price including taxes and fuel, The Dog Walker simply can’t sustain this barbaric action Leeds City Council insist upon "we can’t place such an extreme increase for our charges to our customers as they would not accept it or pay it. We would lose even more custom on top of what we would lose due to this action" said Richie Womersley. The Dog Walker have not raised their prices since it started trading over five years ago as the market can’t justify it.


Leeds City Council have decided this action without consulting or even considering the commercial side to it. The Dog Walker came to this information on the 25th January 2011 when it was asked to do two radio interviews prior to the implementation on February 1st 2011. Leeds City Council was invited by BBC Radio Leeds to attend but failed to do so! The Dog Walker however, did attend.


This proposal was initiated following a recommendation contained within a Scrutiny Board review of dog fouling and the dog warden service in the city in 2008/9. During 2009/10 the Service received 684 complaints about dog fouling in the City and 96 fixed penalty notices were issued for dog fouling. Complaints have been made against "dog walkers" in general but companies like ours receive a bad name when it’s not businesses such as ours that are to blame "We often see members of the general public (who don’t use our services) letting their dog(s) foul on pathways, even on main roads and then simply leaving it for others to stand in. After many confrontations asking them to remove it, we have been subject to aggression and having to be verbally abused by the minority who just don’t care and end up ruining it for the majority" added Richie Womersley.


Another two Control Orders for approval would be the exclusion of dogs from prescribed places, namely children’s playgrounds and church yards, and the ability for an authorised officer to instruct an owner to place a dog on a lead if it is causing a nuisance (both of which The Dog Walker completely agree and have no issue with as its common sense!).


The Dog Walker is a fully insured company with the maximum amount of dogs that can be walked at any one time per person totalled at SIX, The Dog Walker is also operating in line with NATIONAL guidelines (DEFRA national guidance advises six dogs be a maximum) The Dog Walker has been operating legally for over five years with no issues whatsoever, after all it’s a service provider.


The Dog Walker teams are fully capable of handling up to SIX dogs and can clean up after them whilst doing what their customers pay them to do as they operate a responsible business. Why should their business or any other business have to suffer so much for the minority who aren’t bothered? Commercial Dog Walkers have had to deal with a bad name due to the lack of education on how companies like this operate. It’s simply easier to blame a Commercial Dog Walker than the few lazy owners out dog walking.


"The majority of respondents agree with the proposal to limit the number of dogs one person can walk. Therefore, it is proposed to introduce an order limiting the number of dogs that can be walked by an individual to 6, in line with national guidance. Officers consider that this will address the main problems caused by multiple dogs walking in Leeds as most issues encountered relate to individuals walking more than 6 dogs. Few problems have been recorded for Individuals walking between 4 and 6 dogs" said Leeds City Council


This will affect all businesses and individuals like this across Leeds but will also affect owners/breeders with more than four dogs.  PLEASE HELP US AND YOURSELVES!  Stop these faceless bureaucrats who have no idea on how such an industry operates and sign our petition and put this right help keep a much needed and respected service, punish the culprits and not everyone.

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