A PERSISTENTLY loose dog has cost one Stroud resident over £2,500 after complaints by her neighbours.

Cheltenham Magistrates fined Linda Chapman of Glebe Road, Minchinhampton £2000, added a victim surcharge of £120 and awarded Stroud District Council its full costs of £425.

Stroud District council brought the prosecution after residents complained that the black and white male Border Collie, Doodles, was roaming freely, fouling, damaging refuse bags and obstructing traffic.

The council had previously issued warnings to Ms Chapman but decided that in allowing him to repeatedly run into the road she was failing to provide a suitable place for him to live, breaching the rules of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Jon Beckett, the council's Head of Environmental Health, said: "Although a stray dog can cause obvious problems across local communities, it is also clear that there are very serious potential implications for the dog itself.

“In this instance it was reported that the dog had been involved in near-miss traffic incidents and had been eating from refuse sacks which could potentially contain harmful substance. Additionally, the area in question is also enclosed by cattle grids which can cause serious injury to dogs.

“Ms Chapman was provided with a number of chances to ensure Doodles’ safety but regrettably chose to ignore them, resulting in this matter going to court".

Cllr Simon Pickering, Chair of the Environment Committee at Stroud District Council, added:"We are a nation of dog lovers and most dogs are well behaved and bring enjoyment to their owners. However, in situations like this the Council must take action to protect the public and the dog itself.

“Our Dog Wardens do a brilliant job and are unsung heroes of Stroud District Council’s staff team"

Members of the public who spot a stray dog can report it to the Council's Animal Welfare team on 01453 754478.