A pet owner is the first in Britain to be fined for failing to clean up DOG POO from her own garden.
Mandy Evans, 42, was prosecuted after a neighbour complained about foul smells coming from the rear of her property.
The mother-of-three claims she suffers from multiple health problems – leaving her unable to pick up the faeces left by her Rottweiler and Pitbull dogs.
Evans was fined £1,320, ordered to pay £606 and a victim surcharge of £132 at Stafford Magistrates Court after she was found guilty of breaching an abatement notice.
The court heard she was ordered to clean up the garden at her home in Duke Street in Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., after repeated complaints but failed to do so.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council received complaints about “a bad odour and flies caused by an accumulation of dog faeces” coming from her property.
Officers visited Evans and issued an abatement notice last September, ordering her to remove the dog mess.
The case eventually went to court on Wednesday (21/9) where Evans was found guilty in her absence of five counts of breaching the notice in March and July.
Speaking after the case, she said: “I am shocked by how much money I’ve got to pay. I’m on benefits and cannot work because of my health.
“I’m on my own with two kids living at home, I’ve got a number of health problems and I suffer from anxiety and depression.
“I try to keep on top of it. There’s no excuse for not doing it, ill or not, but unfortunately I can only do so much.
“Sometimes it does slip for a couple of days but as soon as I can I get out I sort it.
“The council told me I shouldn’t have the dogs but I’ve had them for seven years. They are not animals to me – they are like my babies and the kids love them.
“Even though I didn’t want to I did try to re-home my Rottweiler and got in touch with the Rottweiler Rescue Trust, but they are full and there’s nothing they can do.”
The council says failing to clean up after dogs is “unacceptable.”
Conservative councillor Mike Bowen, cabinet member for communities who represents the Cheddleton ward, said: “Failing to clean up after your dog is offensive and anti-social and not something that neighbours of pet owners should have to suffer.”
Labour councillor Kevin Jackson, who represents Staffordshire Moorlands – Biddulph South and Endon, said: “Dog faeces is not the sort of stuff you want lying around if you are living next door.
“If you have the responsibility of owning a dog you should have the common decency to clean up after the animal.”