Dog fouling a grave concern at Torrisholme Cemetery

Lancaster City Council is joining forces with Morecambe Town Council and the Friends of Torrisholme Cemetery to crack down on irresponsible dog owners who allow their animals to foul graves and headstones.

Dog control orders are in place at all Lancaster City Council cemeteries meaning that the grounds are not designated dog walking areas and that a person shall not allow any dog belonging to them or in their charge to enter the cemetery unless it is on a lead.  

As in all other public places, it is also an offence not to clean up after a dog which has defecated on public land. A person may be issued with an £80 fixed penalty fine, if they do not clean up, or alternatively may be prosecuted through the magistrates court, where the maximum fine is £1,000.

Despite there being numerous signs located throughout council cemeteries stating that dogs should be kept on a lead at all times, and that dog fouling should be disposed of immediately in any of the cemetery bins, a number of dog walkers continue to ignore them.

Following complaints from visitors to the cemetery who report finding dog faeces on their loved ones graves and headstones, a dog fouling enforcement officer funded by Morecambe Town Council will be working alongside Lancaster City Council to step up patrols of the area and issue fixed penalties to anyone who is caught exercising their dog off a lead or who fails to pick up its mess.

Bill Jackson, Chair of the Friends of Torrisholme Cemetery, said: "The Friends of Torrisholme Cemetery are a voluntary group pledged to improving the environment at the cemetery and as such it is very disappointing for us to note the use of the cemetery by a small minority of irresponsible dog owners who choose to exercise their dogs, and then fail to clean-up.

"For many of our visitors a cemetery is a place of reverence and reflection. There is no place for dog fouling. It is certainly unacceptable in a cemetery. Please dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly!"

Coun Dave Brookes said "One of the responsibilities of dog ownership is cleaning up after them. It may not be much fun, but it is a lot less disgusting than allowing other people to tread in it or find it on a grave. We are stepping up patrols of the cemetery, and with help from local residents and our cemeteries staff who work there on a regular basis, we hope to encourage these uncooperative dog walkers, by way of a fine if necessary, to do the right thing."

Anyone with any information which may lead to those responsible for dog fouling in this cemetery or any other public place in the district should contact council’s dog warden service by email to dogwardens@lancaster.gov.uk or by phone – 01524 582757 so that cases can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Last updated: 09 September 2019