Dog walking legislation is working well on Hampstead Heath

Two people trading as dog walkers have created problems for the regular responsible dog walking community on the Heath. They arrived at Kenwood parking lot in a small white van bearing the name of a dog walking business and proceeded to unload about 12 do

Two people trading as dog walkers have created problems for the regular responsible dog walking community on the Heath. They arrived at Kenwood parking lot in a small white van bearing the name of a dog walking business and proceeded to unload about 12 dogs, one of which they said was an ex-police dog.

The woman had already removed several dogs when the man opened the back of the van again. The woman looked hesitant and then shouted at him to "hang on" when she saw the other dog walkers in the car park, all of whom had their (numerous) dogs on leads.

The man ignored her and a large German Shepherd, off the lead, jumped out and caused havoc. They made no effort to call it back.

When the other dog walkers remonstrated they were subjected to a torrent of abuse. The Heath Police were telephoned and as they could hear the man shouting in the background they said they would come immediately.


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When they arrived, the couple had walked off with their dogs, but as the people who had summoned the police explained what had happened the man came back with the German Shepherd. The police said that an ex-police dog can't be walked by just anyone and must also stay in special kennels if the handler is away. He was instructed to put the dog in the van and then asked to fetch the woman. She eventually arrived back shouting and blaming everyone else for the chaos.

The police and the Kenwood Estate workers (who had by then also arrived) were not impressed and the outcome was that she received an official warning and the police are looking into their dog walking business.

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I view this as an example of the perfectly adequate existing legislation being implemented in a professional fashion with an excellent outcome, and I sincerely hope that no more time is wasted on contentious proposals which will, once again, cause upset in dog walking circles.

Anna Farlow

Lyndale Avenue, NW2

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