Whether you’re a budding gardener or have just had the whole lot paved over, nothing gets the blood boiling more than someone else’s pet leaving you a little “gift” on your property.
Let’s start with dog excrement.
This is in fact really bad news for your lawn, reacting toxically with it to cause burns and bad discoloration.
It also contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.
As for cat waste, while it doesn’t cause the same harm to plants as dog poo does, it’s nonetheless nasty, potentially dangerous and can cause Toxoplasmosis – a disease which can be fatal for humans.
If dog or cat waste is a recurring problem for you, the temptation to do something can be great.
But beyond protecting your property in a way that’s safe for animals and humans – what are your rights?
Dog owners can be fined up to £80 for not cleaning up their pets’ mess and those who don’t pay the fine could be taken to court and fined up to £1000.
If you’re wanting to make a formal complainst about a dog owner, be aware that dog fouling is not a police matter and should be taken up with the council.
A dog warden will them aim to respond to the complaint within one working day.
If the mess is left on private land, however, the matter needs to be taken up with the landowner.
Dog owners are legally responsible for keeping their pets under control and are only exempt from cleaning up their dog’s mess if they’re blind or disabled.
Our feline friends are a little harder to police.
Under the Common Law Duty of Care, cat owners are obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure their pets don’t damage anyone’s property or cause injury to others.
However, a cat is still someone’s property and ALL cats – both domestic and feral – are protected by the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.
It’s therefore an offence to trap or intentionally harm them in any way.
If you have reached breaking point, have spoken to the offending cat’s owner and tried to use as many deterrents as possible, on course of action could be quoting the human rights act at your local council office.
According to Cats Away , you tell them you wish to make a formal complaint under article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which covers your right to respect for private and family life from your local authority.
Should they issue a rebuttal saying the cat owner’s rights are also protected under article 8, you then tell them they are now in breach of the Human Rights Act Article 14 because you are being discriminated against.
They are putting the cat owners right to Article 8 above your right to Article 8.
It won’t stop the cats from fouling, but someone from the council may go have a stern word with the owner.
But we’d safe this one as a last resort.