On Tuesday 16th August Andrew Gwynne MP and Lottie the Chihuahua visited dog friendly pub Lowes Arms with a Kennel Club representative to talk about the work of KC Dog.
KC Dog is the UK's largest dog owners group, which actively campaigns against unreasonable access restrictions for dog walkers and which aims to work with local authorities to find sensible solutions. Restrictions that are overly harsh on dogs can have a negative impact on businesses in the area as it means the dog walkers could be put off of visiting
Normally unfair regulations for dog owners are issued as Public Spaces Protection Orders as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act. Before that, local authorities were able to issue Dog Control Orders – which were far preferable as they had to be tightly defined on dog fouling; limiting the number of dogs a person could walk; keeping dogs on leads in certain areas and keeping dogs on leads by direction.
Currently Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, both within Andrew Gwynne MP’s constituency have in place Dog Control Orders. Sadly, Dog Control Orders must be replaced with Public Spaces Protection Orders by the end of 2017 which may open the door to much greater restrictions.
Being in a dog friendly constituency benefits dog friendly businesses like the Lowes Arms as it means that dog walkers can call and not have to leave their dogs tied up outside or in their cars which can be fatal on summer days.
Speaking during his visit, Andrew Gwynne said: “I am fortunate that in my constituency dog walkers are free to enjoy the amenities on offer with their canine companions – particularly as in other areas this is sadly not the case.”
Lowes Arms is a family run pub which runs a dog owners club overseen by its own canine mascot, Layla every Sunday morning. Peter Wood, the owner said: “Here at the Lowes Arms, we welcome dogs of all breeds and sizes. We have been at the Lowes Arms for 18 years and have always made them welcome in our games room.
We see ourselves as an active part of local community life and have several clubs and teams that use our facilities. On Sunday mornings we have a dog club that meets in the car park, goes for a local walk along the canal or River Tame, and then returns to the pub for coffee and refreshments.”