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North Woolwich dog walker vows to fight fine

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 December 2011 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 December 2011

Dog lover Sheila Gilbert with Meg. Picture: Steve Poston

Dog lover Sheila Gilbert with Meg. Picture: Steve Poston

Archant

A pensioner claims to have the full backing of her neighbours after refusing to pay a fine for walking her dog without a lead.

Sheila Gilbert, 72, was walking to Pier Parade in North Woolwich on November 15 with Meg, her nine-year-old Jack Russell, when she was approached by a council enforcement officer.

She was handed a £50 fixed penalty notice for disobeying a dog control order.

But the dog owner, of Manwood Street, said she had no idea she was in the wrong.

Her 10 day window in which to pay the fine has since expired, and it has now increased to £80. A refusal to pay again could result in criminal proceedings and a £1,000 fine.

Ms Gilbert said: “The officer said I should have read all about it in the Newham Magazine. Well, I don’t read the Newham Magazine.

“This is the most well behaved dog I have ever had. Everybody I know has said it’s absolutely disgraceful what they’ve done to me.

“I didn’t know I’d done wrong. If I had been given a warning or a caution then I would know for next time.”

Newham Council introduced its dog control orders to tackle nuisance behaviour and irresponsible dog owners.

A spokesman said: “Dogs off leads foul the pavement and are a considerable nuisance.

“We have consulted extensively with our residents who have urged us to introduce these orders and we are also consulting about the possibility of extending them.

“The dog control orders are clearly advertised on our website.”

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