Pensioner fined for dog off lead

Ann Barclay with her West Highland terrier Scott and fixed penalty notice
Ann Barclay with her West Highland terrier Scott and fixed penalty notice

A pensioner fined £75 after her dog jumped out of her car is appealing her fixed penalty notice.

Ann Barclay, 73, drove with her West Highland terrier Scott to Worden Park in Leyland to go for a walk.

Furious: Ann Barclay and her dog Scott

Furious: Ann Barclay and her dog Scott

When she opened the car door, the excited terrier shot out past her and on to the car park - and into the path of a dog warden, who issued Mrs Barclay with a £75 fixed penalty notice for having her dog off the lead.

The upset grandma claims she told the warden that seven-year-old Scott had only slipped her grasp for a minute but she would not retract the penalty.

Mrs Barclay, of Fernleigh, Leyland, said: “My dog had been in the car a while as I had been to the doctor before we went to the park, so when I opened the door to put the lead on, he jumped out past me.

“I know he is not supposed to do that but he went straight into the park. He loves the park and he must have been desperate to spend a penny.

“The warden came up to me and said, ‘I’m going to fine you because your dog is not on a lead.’ I had the lead in my hand and he had only been off it for a minute. But she said, ‘It’s zero tolerance.’”

Mrs Barclay rang South Ribble Council when she got home, but she was told the fine would still stand, though she could pay it off in instalments.

The grandma-of-six said: “I honestly thought it would be about £20 but they said it was £75. I’m a pensioner and my pension is £91 a week.

“If I had intended to let him off the lead, I would say I deserved the fine.

“But it was an accident. I’m not very fast and it took me a minute to catch up with him.

“There was no-one on the park. He was not going to hurt anyone or cause an accident.”

John Dalton, director of planning and housing at South Ribble Council, said: “While I sympathise with Mrs Barclay’s situation, we have to act consistently in our approach to dog owners who do not keep their pets under control in public places.

“The dog was not simply off its lead, but it was running through the car park, which could have proved dangerous for drivers and passers-by.

“Residents told us that dog fouling is one of their biggest concern, and we vowed to crack down on this problem, launching a zero tolerance approach to unsupervised dogs last autumn. Dog owners may say it is harsh, but we have a responsibility to keep the streets of South Ribble safe and clean for our residents.”