Rugby dog owner handed hefty fine after cemetery walk

Rugby Borough Council's dog control order makes it an offence to have dogs off leads in Clifton Road cemetery
Rugby Borough Council's dog control order makes it an offence to have dogs off leads in Clifton Road cemetery
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It turned out to be a ‘very expensive dog walk’ for a Rugby woman who was fined for not keeping her Chihuahuas on a lead in a cemetery.

Georgina Clarke was given an £80 penalty for having her two pets off the lead in Clifton Road cemetery in October.

After ignoring the fine and subsequent letters, the 38-year-old woman was found guilty of breaching a dog control order and ordered to pay even more at the Warwickshire Justice Centre on Tuesday (April 4).

Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm Cllr Lisa Parker said: “The borough’s dog control orders form part of the council’s on-going campaign to encourage responsible dog ownership.

“Rugby’s parks, cemeteries and green spaces should be a safe environment for our residents, and dog owners who fail to comply with our dog control orders rightly run the risk of a fine.”

Clarke was walking her dogs in the cemetery when she was spotted by council environmental enforcement wardens on a routine patrol.

One of the Chihuahuas ran towards the wardens, barking, and Clarke shouted at the pooch.

When the wardens approached her she apologised and, when asked, confirmed both dogs belonged to her.

One of the wardens explained to Clarke the borough’s dog control orders meant it was an offence to fail to keep dogs on leads in cemeteries and on public roads.

He then issued her with an £80 fixed penalty notice and Clarke gave her home address as a property in Cambridge Street.

But after she failed to pay the fine, a letter was sent to the address she had given the warden.

On receiving no reply, the wardens checked the council’s records and discovered the address she had given was different to the address in Cambridge Street registered at the Town Hall.

After failing to pay the fixed penalty, Clarke’s case was heard at the justice centre in Nuneaton.

She was found guilty in her absence of breaching a dog control order and was fined £80.

The 38-year-old was also ordered to pay £361 costs and a £30 victim surcharge, leading a magistrate to comment: “It was a very expensive dog walk.”

For more information on the council’s dog control orders, visit www.rugby.gov.uk/dogcontrol.