Advice on being a responsible dog owner

A LEAFLET advising on responsible dog ownership has been launched by the environment section of Kilkenny County Council in partnership with the council’s environmental committee.

A LEAFLET advising on responsible dog ownership has been launched by the environment section of Kilkenny County Council in partnership with the council’s environmental committee.

The leaflet summarises the steps that dog owners should take to ensure that their pets remain safe, and it outlines the minimum requirements to stay on the right side of the law.

Owning a dog is a gratifying experience but it comes with its responsibilities, according to county vet Anne Marie Brennan. “Dogs are great companions and the majority of dog owners are very responsible; however, this new information leaflet reminds dog owners of their obligations. Not everyone loves other people’s dogs, some people may be afraid of dogs and this has to be remembered when out in public with your pet,” she said.

Under the current law, a dog must be under control at all times. Anyone who owns a dog listed as a restricted breed must have the dog on a leash and muzzled when out in public. Dogs should not be allowed to roam free as they can cause a nuisance or sheep worry, which can cause livestock fatalities.

The council’s environmental committee is made up of councillors and interested parties in the environment, including community representative Sean Fitzpatrick and Pat Durkin, who has a long association with Bird Watch Ireland. Both Sean and Pat were present at the leaflet launch with their own dogs along with representatives from the library and dog warden service.

Dog warden Michael Morrissey said at the launch that “this leaflet will raise the awareness of common issues which I encounter on a daily basis. I think it is important to remind dog owners that while payment of the dog licence is a legal requirement, it provides critical funds for the running of the dog shelter and also funds the dog warden service that assists the public with dog welfare matters.”

The development of this leaflet comes in the wake of the council’s latest campaign against dog fouling. The leaflet is available from local libraries, from the environment section of County Hall and the dog shelter. The launch coincides with a two-week radio promotion on KCLR and the leaflet will also be distributed through in primary schools in partnership with the Green School committees throughout the county.