Out of control dogs in Sidmouth prompt warning from authority

The Byes. Ref shs 16-16SH 1400. Picture: Simon Horn

The Byes. Ref shs 16-16SH 1400. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Out of control dogs have been scaring children, jumping into back gardens and pestering other animals in Sidmouth.

East Devon District Council has been contacted several times by members of the public reporting problems caused by dogs off the lead in The Byes.

Among the incidents reported to the authority over the festive season was one that happened on Christmas day where a person walking two large dogs behind Sidmouth College was unable to prevent the animals jumping up and frightening a little girl walking with her family.

A resident also reported an incident on Christmas Eve where an Alsatian in an orange coat jumped a high fence into a garden, while chasing squirrels.

A third incident was reported by a member of the public after two off-lead Tibetan terriers were seen pestering other dogs being walked on the lead, on that and on several other occasions previously. In all cases, the dog owners claimed that their dogs were just being friendly.

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An East Devon District Council spokeswoman said the authority viewed the issue of dogs being a nuisance, whether to other dogs or humans, extremely seriously.

And, from the information received, it appeared the dogs in question were not sufficiently trained enough to be walking safely without a lead.

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She added they would like to remind all dog owners that it was their responsibility to keep their dogs well-trained and under close control, away from other people.

The spokeswoman said owners needed to be aware that some children and adults did not welcome the uninvited attention of dogs. As well as this, they must also ensure their dogs did not enter private land uninvited.

She said the council preferred being able to speak to owners directly, but this does of course depend on whether members of the public are able to identify offending dog owners.

Christopher Holland, Sidmouth Town Council’s clerk, said they fully endorsed the measures being taken by East Devon.

He added: “We are concerned about these issues, where dog owners are allowing their animals to be a nuisance to others and we fully support the action that the district council is taking.”

Anyone wishing to report an incident should email environmentalhealth@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 516551.

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