59 on the spot fines were issued last year to dog owners in Co Mayo.

Of the fines issued by Mayo County Council, just 24 were paid

11 people were prosecuted, with 5 convictions.

The dog warden in the county told Midwest News this morning that the majority of the on-the-spot fines were for dogs that were out of control, while a number related to restricted breeds not wearing a muzzle and being off the leash in a public place.

Fines for dog-fouling are a separate category, and are issued by the litter warden.

Figures released by the Department of Rural & Community Development also show that 165 stray and unwanted dogs entered the pound in Mayo last year.

Of those, 122 were strays while 43 were surrendered.

26 of these were reclaimed, while 131 were transferred to dog welfare groups, and 7 were put down.

Speaking after the figures were published, Minister of State Séan Canney welcomed the year-on-year decrease in the number of dogs entering local authority pounds - down from over 26,000 in 2002 to less than 10,000 last year.

Minister Canney is reminding dog owners that it is a legal requirement for them to have a dog licence and have their dog micro-chipped - that way a stray dog that enters a local authority pound can have the micro chip scanned and be reunited with its owner.