Council launches anti-dog fouling campaign to coincide with clocks going back

A sign asks dog owners to pick up after their pets. Picture: Chris Bishop

A sign asks dog owners to pick up after their pets. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Owners of dogs are being urged to act responsibly while walking their pets at a time of year which normally sees an increase in fouling.

Message to dog owners. Clean it Up slogan on the pavement in Gorleston.
Picture: James Bass

Message to dog owners. Clean it Up slogan on the pavement in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has launched a new dog walking campaign on social media to raise awareness of pleasant dog-walking locations in the borough, while encouraging everyone to play their part to keep the streets free of dog mess.

The launch of ‘Let’s Do Walkies Well’ coincides with the clocks going backwards and the evenings drawing in - which is when a rise in dog-fouling incidents is seen each year.

The campaign will use photographs of local people and their dogs at popular dog-walking locations throughout the borough, to encourage everyone to follow the rules to protect the environment and pick up after their dog.

The entire borough is covered by a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which includes a borough-wide offence of dog-fouling on any land to which the public have access.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Environmental Rangers so they can investigate.

The PSPO also covers dogs on lead requirements and dog bans at specific locations, which are put in place for safety and hygiene reasons.

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The locations where dogs must always be kept on their leads include Great Yarmouth Old Cemetery and the promenade adjacent to the beach between Wellington Pier and Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth between May 1 and September 30 each year.

Dogs are banned from entering any council-owned or managed fenced play areas, multi-use games areas, skate parks and fitness areas.

Exemptions are made for guide dogs that assist those who are registered blind or deaf or those with mobility or physical coordination issues.

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environmental committee on the council, said: “We have lots of great places to walk dogs in the borough and most dog-walkers are responsible and follow the PSPO rules. However, we do see an increase in dog-fouling at this time of year. The campaign will help support the work of the Environmental Rangers, who have worked hard to attain 30 successful prosecutions against those who have failed to pick up after their dogs in the last five year.”

“As someone who has had dogs since I was young, I am fully aware of the benefits of having one as a pet, for both the owner and dog. As well as the benefits, there is a responsibility to clean up after them on walks, in all weathers.”

Anyone who witnesses an environmental crime in the borough or has information that may help to identify an offender can report it via the Love Clean Streets app, available to download free of charge from Google Play for Android or the Apple App Store.

What they need is strong evidence – not necessarily photographs. For example, a description of the dog and person walking it, the location, date and time of the incident – and then they can target the right areas or individuals.