East Lothian Council

Dog Warden Services

Dog fouling

East Lothian Council's community wardens enforce dog and litter legislation and issue fixed penalty fines to people who drop litter or don't clean up after their dog.

Officers from the Police Service of Scotland can also issue fixed penalty notices to offenders.

  • The fixed penalty fine for dog fouling is £80; this rises to £100 if it's not paid within 28 days.
  • The fixed penalty fine for littering is £80.

Anyone who doesn't pay a fine for dog fouling within the given time period will be pursued by sheriff officers who have the legal right to recover both the amount of the fine and any expenses incurred in the pursuit of the debt. Failure to pay littering fines will result in the offender being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Reporting an Offence

The Council has launched its latest campaign to try and combat the nuisance of dog fouling.

Dog Watch - Who's Watching You? - is designed to allow the public to easily report when they witness an offence being committed. One of the main reasons that dog owners don't clear up after their dog is because they think there's not a Council officer watching. However, if the message gets out that the general public can now take direct action to report offences, dog owners are far more likely to behave responsibly.

For Dog Watch to be successful, the general public of East Lothian need to play their part and assist the Council by reporting offences, displaying posters and information which can be provided by the Council and even demonstrating zero tolerance of this element of antisocial behaviour by speaking to dog owners within their neighbourhood and encouraging them to behave responsibly.

The Council can offer support to communities who are willing to assist by way of following up on reported offences, targeting areas of greatest complaint with covert surveillance and ensuring a high profile presence on the streets from time to time.

Initially operating within the Dunbar and East Linton Ward, the initiative is being rolled out across the county as community groups sign up to the campaign.

Any community group who has not yet signed up and would like to should, in the first instance, contact the Council by calling 01620 827827 or emailing dogwatch@eastlothian.gov.uk.

To report details of a dog fouling offence please call 01875 824305 or complete our online form. Details provided of offences, by members of the public, will be kept confidential.

Who is responsible for cleaning up after dogs?

Under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003, if you are in charge of a dog you must clear up after it - regardless of your age and whether or not you own it.

You must pick up any fouling immediately and throw it away in a proper bin or take it home with you. Please note that picking up dog excrement in a bag and then leaving the bag lying around is still an offence.

The Act applies to failure to “pick up” in any “public open place” apart from designated agricultural land.

A “public open place” includes —

  • any place which is open to the air to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission; and
  • any common passage, close, court, stair, back green, garden, yard or other similar common area.

Excuses such as not knowing your dog has fouled or not having a bag with you to pick it up won't be accepted by our wardens, and you will still be fined.

Poop scoop bags

From 1st April 2015 poop scoop bags will be available from council offices and libraries at a charge of £1 per pack.

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.