Teachers are having to wash children’s shoes as they are forced to wade through dog faeces on their way to school.
Teachers at various schools throughout the borough are outraged that pupils are arriving at school filthy because of the deluge of dog dirt.
One school principal, Jim Lee of St Patrick’s PS in Derrymacash, described it as a ‘serious health risk’. “I don’t want any of the children exposed to this,” he said, And he urged dog owners to be more responsible and pick up the faeces.
SDLP Councillor Declan McAlinden expressed his disgust at the level of dog fouling, which he has branded “alarming”. He has been “inundated” with reports of increasing levels of dog fouling, And he told dog owners to clean up their mess.
“I think is becoming an epidemic and health and safety issue. Parents and children at Tannaghmore PS Lurgan and St Patrick PS Aghacommon have to manoeuvre around the dog mess; some have to walk onto a busy road to avoid the mess leaving them vulnerable to an accident. Parents have told me that their pram wheels are covered and young children are carrying the mess into the schools on their shoes. On a number of occasions a local teacher had to take the shoes off the kids and wash them, this is totally unacceptable.
“It is disgusting and dangerous. Dog faeces can actually cause blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes. These irresponsible dog owners obviously have no care for young children. Your dog is your responsibility and you have a duty to take care of it and your community.”
He has called for extra Council staff on the ground to combat this growing problem. “Residents know who own the dogs and I ask that you report them to council.”