A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that fines dog owners up to £1,000 for not keeping their dogs on leads could be extended following a consultation by Darlington Borough Council.

A cabinet meeting of Darlington Borough Council on July 3 approved the launch of an eight-week consultation into the borough’s dog Public Space Protection Order.

The order, first introduced in 2021, fines dog owners for things including the failure to pick up dog faeces, not keeping dogs on leads in certain areas and allowing a dog on land where they are banned.

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Now, the public has until September to make their views known in a public consultation before the council decides whether to extend the order past its original expiry date, January 2024.

Councillor Amanda Riley, Cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “We know the majority of dog owners and walkers in Darlington behave responsibly. However, there is a minority who don’t and dog-related antisocial behaviour is still a concern for many residents, local businesses and others who visit the borough.

“The PSPO enables us to clearly set out the rules that apply to all, such as picking up after your dog, keeping your pet on a lead in certain areas or keeping them out of specific places altogether, like children’s play areas.

“However, before we make any decision on renewing the existing PSPO, we want to hear your views on whether the issues it covers are the right ones, or if we need to add any others in relation to dog control.”

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Darlington is not the only borough to introduce Public Space Protection Orders. Durham County Council introduced regulations on dog owners in 2017.

However, a recent review of the PSPO at Durham extended the number of offences that warrant a fine from four to nine on June 1.

Under these rules, Durham dog owners cannot walk more than six dogs at one time or will be fined if their pooch does not have an identity tag on their collar in public.