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"Take the Lead" and be a Responsible Dog Owner

Mar 20, 2015

The Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Donal Lyons, will launch Galway City Councils 2015 Responsible Dog Ownership Campaign "Take the Lead" on Tuesday, 24 th March.

Some very positive feedback was received following from the campaign last year and it is hoped that it will have the same impact again this year.

Galway City Council has made stringent efforts to address the issue around the management of dogs in public places, by their owners, over the past few years - the basis of which is licensing and control of dogs. Responsible dog owners are obliged to keep their dog under effective control whilst in public places. Ideally, dogs should be walked using a lead for your own and your dog's safety. Regulations are in place with regard to specific breeds of dogs which must be muzzled at all times and under effective control when out in public; these include the Doberman Pinscher, English Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa. (This is not a comprehensive list.)

"We are very fortunate in Galway City to have so many beautiful parks and walkways which can be very busy at times, especially if the weather is nice, so this is an ideal time to remind dog owners and walkers that they must clean up after their dog and be a responsible dog owner". Mayor Donal Lyons said.

Its a nice day, you're walking along and all of a sudden ---squish -. You don't even have to look because you know you've stepped in it. There's nothing like an encounter with a pile of poop to put the kibosh on a good day.

Pet owners aren't always as responsible as they should be. Being a responsible, environmentally friendly pet-owner means cleaning-up after your dog when they do their business.

Dog fouling is an issue that has been on top of people's mind as the worst form of litter and has been one of the top issues of complaint from members of the public in recent times. It spoils walkways and amenities and represents a significant health hazard, especially to children. Children spend a lot of time playing close to the ground and they touch their eyes and mouth without a thought to whether their hands are clean or not. Any bag can be used when cleaning up after your dog. Failure to clean up after your dog's waste is an offence under the Litter Pollution Act, 1997 and can lead to a €150 "on-the-spot" fine. Pooper-scoopers and mutt-mitts are available to members of the public free of charge from City Hall.

All dogs over four months must have a licence. It is an offence to keep a dog without a dog licence. Licences cost €20 and can be bought from the Post Office. A dog licence is valid for a period of 12 months. Further, dogs must, at all times, wear a visible means of identification of the owner such as a collar with a disc or name tag. Additional fitting of a microchip will assist in the retrieval of your dog should they get lost.

The "Take the Lead" Campaign will involve the following:

  • Distribution of a booklet free of charge which contains information for dog owners in relation to their responsibilities
  • Availability of mutt-mitts and pooper-scoopers free of charge from City Hall
  • Appropriate signage have been fitted on a number of bins in the City
  • Community Wardens will continue to enforce the Litter Pollution Act
  • Galway City Council staff will be at various locations throughout the City engaging with dog owners and providing pooper-scoopers and mutt-mitts

Further information on responsible dog ownership can be found on