Widow fined £100 for taking her dog to visit husband’s grave

Widow fined for dog at grave
Lynda Martin, 67, says she was ‘made to feel like a criminal’ (Picture: SWNS)

A widow fined £100 for taking her border collie to her husband’s grave has called for the council to scrap its ban on dogs in the cemetery.

Lynda Martin says she was ‘made to feel like a criminal’ in Herne Bay, Kent, when she became the first person to be hit with a fixed penalty notice for breaching the rule, in place since 2017. The 67-year-old has frequently visited the cemetery with her beloved dog Megan since her husband, Niall Willis, 81, was buried last April.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Forty-five percent of pet owners say they occasionally (or frequently) buy presents for their animals.

The 12-year-old collie was even by her side at Niall’s funeral. Ms Martin said: ‘Megan was on the lead and under control. She is my constant companion and my emotional support.

‘I don’t know what I would have done in the last year without her.

‘I think the enforcement officers are better off catching real criminals – flytippers and hooligans – rather than preying on someone vulnerable.’

She admitted she had known dogs were not allowed — and paid the fine — but has asked for the ban to be dropped.

A spokesman said Canterbury city council sympathised with Ms Martin but ‘cannot make exceptions’ to the rule against dogs in the area (Picture: KMG/SWNS)

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A spokesman said Canterbury city council sympathised with Ms Martin but said they ‘cannot make exceptions’ to the rule.

But they said when the council next reviews the ban ‘we will carry out further public consultation’ to check if it is widely backed.

Mrs Martin’s fine was issued by an enforcement officer from Kingdom LA Support, which was controversially rehired by the council in November.

The firm was previously employed by the authority between 2014 and 2016, with its officers often criticised for being ‘overzealous’.

For a dog who loves to tear apart stuffed animals, make a durable activity ball with a Hol-ee rubber ball, scraps of fabric, and treats.

A memorable episode during that period saw workers fine a retired couple £160 for littering after they left a handful of cherry stones at the foot of a tree.

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