Combatting dog poop
All dog owners are required to clean up after their pets no matter where they are in the city. Nevertheless, too much poop is being left behind on the street, much to the great annoyance of local residents. The police and surveilance teams plan to come down hard on the culprits: so dog owners beware!.
The fine for not cleaning up after your dog is €100. In order to clean up the doggie doo, dog owners need to have a proper ‘pooper scooper’ with them at all times. You must be able to show that you have paper or plastic doggie doo bags or a small scoop with you, punishable by a €70 fine. There are also fines for people who let their dog out where it’s not allowed (€100) and for people who don’t have their dog on a lead where it’s required (€70).
Easy to avoid
It is easy to avoid a fine by keeping your dog on a lead where it’s required, letting your dog out only where it’s allowed and cleaning up after your pet. Special doggie doo bags (including biodegradable baggies) are available at pet shops and supermarkets. The bags may be thrown away in all public rubbish bins.
The regulations regarding dogs are simple:
* Wherever you see sign boards with the text uitlaatplek or uitrengebied you are permitted to let your dog run free unleashed, otherwise you are required to keep your dog on a leash at all times throughout The Hague.
* In all areas where you are required to keep your dog on a leash, you are also required by law to clear up after your dog.
* In the areas where dogs are allowed to run free off the leash, you are not required to clear up your dog’s excrement. The beach, with the exception of 2 areas (see Exceptions to the regulations below) is out of bounds for dogs from 15 May – 1 October. Signs at the entrance to the beach indicate this clearly and please note this a 24-hour prohibition.
* Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds, playing fields and sunbathing areas; there are always sign boards (verboden voor honden) clearly indicating this.
Here, dog owners are allowed to let their dogs run free to their heart’s content.
Here too, dogs are allowed to run free.
‘Uitlaatplekken’ are generally smaller in comparison to ‘uitrengebieden’.
Here, dogs are banned. These sign boards are to be found next to playgrounds, playing fields and sunbathing areas, and a number of important and vunerable scenic areas or nature reserves.
Clear up that excrement
Everyone is upset/disgusted when they see a street with dog excrement everywhere. People carry the excrement inside on their shoes, and for people with buggies and prams, for example, dog excrement can be a very unpleasant surprise. And what about people who are dependent on wheelchairs. If you are a dog owner, you must clear up the excrement your dog leaves behind whether it is in the gutter or on the pavement or grass. This is required by law.
On ‘uitlaatplekken’ and in ‘uitrengebieden’ you are not obliged to clear up after your dog, but fellow citizens without dogs will be extremely grateful when you do nevertheless do this on the paths surrounding these areas. This can be done using a plastic bag and depositing it in the nearest litter bin, although a specially designed dog bin (with a so-called ‘stankklep’ would be preferable). If you have never cleared up after your dog before, it may seem strange at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. The great advantage is that nobody unwittingly treads in dog poop anymore. Special bags (poop-scoops and other useful gadgets) for clearing up dog excrement are available from pet supply stores. Free bags/poop-scoops are also available (as long as the supply lasts) from your stadsdeelkantoor (district council office).
Exceptions to the regulations
The beaches at Scheveningen (Noorderstrand) and Kijkduin (Zuiderstrand) have a special status. This is because of the nuisance dogs can cause to the many beach users in the summer months. Dogs are banned from these beaches from 15 May – 1 October each year, except for two areas: a small part of Noorderstrand, next to Zwarte Pad (see the map of Scheveningen), and part of Zuiderstrand, near Kwartellaan (see the map of Segbroek). Here dogs are permitted to run free from 15 May – 1 October, but be aware that here the removal of excrement by owners does apply.
Surveillance and enforcement
Where these regulations apply, there is surveillance and enforcement. The council, police and judiciary work together closely on this issue, and the Urban Preservation teams also keep a watch out for people who do not keep their dogs on a leash or clear up after their dogs. Remember, there is a hefty fine if you ignore these regulations. Not keeping your dog on a leash will cost you €70, and if you don’t clear up your dog’s excrement straight away this will cost you another €100. If you are found to be without any means of cleaning up after your pet, i.e. a bag of some kind, you will be fined €70.
Dogs on the beach
The regulations have been adjusted so that dogs are allowed on the Noorder and Zuiderbeaches in the summer more often than was previously the case.
From 15 May to 1 October dogs are allowed off the leash on the following parts of the beach:
* 21.00 and 07.00 – all parts of Zuiderstrand between
* all day, every day – section of the Zuiderstrand between access point 2 to the beach opposite Kijkduinpark/end of carpark at Machiel Vrijenhoeklaan) and the border with the borough of Westland (Monster) ;
* all day, every day – section of the Zuiderstrand between beach access point 9 (opposite Kwartellaan) and 10 (opposite Duivelandsestraat);
* every day, all day – section of the Noorderstrand between the beach access point at the end of the Zwarte Pad carpark and the border with the borough of Wassenaar.
There are signs indicating where dogs are welcome on specified sections of the beach. Dogs are allowed off the leash here but their excrement must be removed by the owner as is the case in the rest of The Hague. On all other parts of the beach dogs are forbiddenduring the busy summer months and again there are signs indicating this. Also as in other parts of The Hague the Urban Preservation teams keep a watch out for people who do not keep their dogs on a leash or clear up after their dogs.
Map (Centrum or Scheveningen kleine & grote kaart) showing where dogs can be let out(Scheveningen Woods: green = the whole year off the leash) and where dogs are absolutely forbidden (the playground on Ary vd Spuyweg and the cemetery at the top of the Bankastraat on the right and the section of woods immediately oppositered: red = dogs forbidden) in our neighbourhood. Anywhere else dogs must be kept on the leash at all times.