Council turns up the heat on irresponsible dog owners.

THREE North Devon dog owners have been fined for not cleaning up after pets within the last week.

Two of the latest fixed penalty notices were issued in Lynton, while the third was in Combe Martin. Each of the owners immediately paid the notice, which meant the cost was reduced from £75 to £60.

The punishments follow four other penalties that were issued in Ilfracombe during the summer. Of those, three owners paid the charge, whereas court proceedings have now begun against the fourth owner.

North Devon Council's executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: "These latest cases show we will not tolerate owners who walk away from their dogs' mess.

"Even more importantly, our local communities are also standing up against the foul practice, with one of these cases as a result of members of the public reporting the owner to us.

"It's simply not acceptable that a few people give other pet owners a bad name.

"Therefore, I would like to reiterate that if anyone sees an owner failing to clean up after their dog, then they can report it to us, giving us as much information as possible, so that we can try to bring action against them."

The district council, in conjunction with local town and parish councils, have recently held two high-visibility campaigns to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership.

Regular checks by dog wardens and covert operations are also continuing across the district, to try to encourage owners to clean up after their pets.

To report a dog fouling offence, phone 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

Information can be left anonymously but the council is asking callers to leave their own name and address, so that investigators can verify the facts, discuss the information and feed back on any action taken.