Dog fouling

The Fouling of Land by Dogs (the Borough Council of Bolton) Order 2007 (126KB) designates land throughout the whole of Bolton Council where dog owners must clean up if their dog fouls the ground. It includes all public land, thoroughfares and areas adjoining or granting access to public buildings. Only land which is used as farmland, woodland, marshland, moor or heath land and common land is excluded from the control order.

We operate a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling offences. Failure to clean up after your dog is an offence for which you may receive either a fixed penalty fine of £80 or you may be prosecuted in the magistrates court. This can result in a fine of up to £1,000.

Dealing with dog fouling issues

We do not have resources available to remove dog fouling anywhere other than children's play areas. If you can provide information that might help to identify offender(s) i.e. description of dog, regular time of offence, car registration, address of offender(s) then this may be used to prioritise patrols or enforcement action.

Report dog fouling online

Sign and Stencil Requests

Signage is installed in the form of pavement stencils. We aim to respond positively to requests for stencilling, however stencils need to be put down in dry/warm conditions to allow the paint to stick and dry. Stencils are applied between May and September and requests received outside this time will be held until May.

Request a 'No dog fouling pavement stencil' online

Service standards

  • We have no capacity to respond by removing incidences of fouling anywhere other than inside equipped play areas. However where we are provided with information that can help to identify offenders we aim to investigate all reports.
  • We aim to complete investigations within 60 working days
  • We aim to deal with all people in a courteous and helpful manner  

Stray dogs

The moment a dog is out unsupervised in a public area it is a stray. A dog can also be seized with the permission of a land owner where a dog is straying on private land and it is unauthorised to do so.

When a dog is seized by the dog warden, it will be checked to see if it has been micro chipped or has a tag that displays the owner details. If the warden is able to locate an owner then we may, in some circumstances, return the dog to its owner providing they are able to make immediate contact with them.

Dogs will be kennelled if:

  • Immediate contact cannot be made. A notification will be left at the address informing the owner that the dog has been seized;
  • We have a record of a dog owner has previously allowing dog(s) to stray;
  • The warden is unable to scan a dog for identification due to the dog behaving aggressively or acting in such a manner that a reading cannot be obtained.

Kennelled dogs will not be released until the sum of £90.00 has been paid. Dogs will be kennelled for 7 days, during which time you may collect the dog. After seven days the dog becomes the property of the kennel holding the dog who may then wish to sell the dog on.

The council employs a contractor to oversee stray dog issues outside of normal office hours and during weekend/bank holiday periods. The contractor has the discretion to charge for the return of a dog where immediate contact can be made with the owner. This charge is currently £77.

Microchipping your dog

In 2013 the government announced that from 6th April 2016 all dogs in England would have to be microchipped. Please see our FAQ's about microchipping and the law (104KB).

FREE microchipping is currently available from Dogs Trust at a vet near you. For details on how to do this, either download a copy of the Dogs Trust flyer (373KB) or visit the Chip My Dog website.

What should I do if I find a stray?

If you find a stray dog, you are required by law to return it to the owner or to contact our dog warden service on 01204 336632, Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am -5pm. If you find a stray dog outside of normal office hours please contact Animal Wardens on 0161 334 0042 who provide out of hours service including weekends and bank holidays.

Dog Control Unit

Ellesmere House

Mayor Street Depot

Ellesmere Street



Telephone 01204 336632
Fax 01204 336698
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