PROFESSIONAL dog walkers will be given the opportunity to sign up to a Renfrewshire Council scheme to show members of the public they can be trusted, writes Jack Thomson.  

As part of the voluntary initiative, the local authority will set minimum standards for the businesses so dog owners feel their pets are safe and in reliable hands.

There are believe to be more than 40 professional dog walkers in Renfrewshire, with councillors agreeing a scheme will “reassure” people in the area. 

The Gazette: Councillor Cathy McEwan Councillor Cathy McEwan

Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor was particularly supportive of the move and told Wednesday’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board she looked forward to plans being developed. 

She said: “Constituents have regularly raised concerns about the increase in dog walking companies. 

“It will reassure then and the public at large that companies are signing up to be registered. 

“I really welcome the report and look forward to it being developed.”

The scheme will operate in a similar manner to the responsible dog owners pledge, a vow which people can sign and agree to a number of behavioural standards. 

READ MORE: Renfrewshire Council admits battle to tackle dog fouling 

Oliver Reid, the council’s head of Public Protection, said a fee to join the scheme had not yet been established but could be judged in line with the Trusted Traders Scheme. 

He said: “We haven’t determined that but the Trusted Traders Scheme is about £200 a year, so if it was in line with that it would be the same.”

Councillor Will Mylet backed the introduction of the scheme, citing its importance in promoting animal welfare. 

He said: “This is one of the things we have probably all had complaints about. It could be contributing to the dog fouling. 

“There probably should be a charge for it. If you want to give people some confidence that they’re not just people putting dogs in cars. 

“People have to be committed. This is animal welfare and if they care about the scheme they will commit to it. 

The Gazette: Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor

“It’s a really good report. I really welcome it and look forward to its implementation.” 

Board convener Councillor Cathy McEwan moved for the report to be agreed, receiving unanimous support from elected members. 

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A further progress report detailing the terms and operation of the scheme will be brought back to a future board meeting.

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