THE MAIL is declaring war on dog fouling with a campaign to make more people pick up after their dogs and report those who don’t.
This follows a decision by Craigavon council to have a zero tolerance policy on dog owners who don’t pick up their pet’s mess.
Locals have been contacting the paper regularly to complain about the dog poo plague on our streets.
One reader told the Mail: “The dog owners of the borough must be some of the filthiest people in Europe. Nowhere else would dog owner get away leaving public footpaths in such a state.
“Brownlow Terrace, North Street, Kilmaine Street and Victoria Street are particularly bad.”
And the council has now decided to organise a promotional campaign in the summer to educate people on the perils of dog fouling.
Plus it will begin immediately to target specific areas of Lurgan issuing fines to those with dogs dirtying the streets.
Hot spots in Lurgan which will be targeted next week by the Council include: Wood Lane; Glenview Park; North Circular Road; Mourneview Estate; Kilwilke Estate; Avenue Road and Park Avenue.
The council also detected an offender this week in City Park so they will face a fixed penalty fine.
Visitors and residents alike will be fined if they are spotted breaking the law.
Dog fouling is one of the town’s biggest ‘pet hates’ with the public regularly having to dodge poo on pavements and grass verges.
The Mail campaign is being actively supported by Craigavon council whose offices have been inundated recently with complaints about dog fouling.
The council’s three environmental wardens will be patrolling the town’s problem hot-spots,
They will be out and about at different times of the day and evenings, including weekends, and Trevor Clydesdale, neighbourhood environmental manager, said anyone caught letting their dog foul will receive an on-the-spot fine of £50.
He said, “Dog fouling is worse at this time of year as people allow their dogs to foul under the cover of darkness. All people have to do is to pick up after their dog and place the bag in the doggy bin. It’s not a lot to ask and it makes our streets and pavements suitable for everyone to walk on without encountering a mess.
“We need the public to be our eyes and ears and report offenders. Don’t let the irresponsible dog owners give the majority of good owners a bad name.”
Letters have also been sent to residents in problem areas outlining the legal obligations on owners to clean up after their dogs and what the public can do to help solve the problem.
During the 2011/2012 period, the council issued 1046 fixed penalty fines for litter and 38 for dog fouling, higher than any other council in Northern Ireland per head of population.
Said Mr Clydesdale: “Thirty-seven of the dog fouling fixed penalties were paid and the non-payment case was taken to court where the offender was fined £75 plus £94 costs.
“Next Tuesday is the monthly departmental court sitting in Craigavon. We currently have 15 litter cases listed for hearing, which shows how seriously we take this issue. None of those cases are for dog fouling, but it highlights the fact that we take our ‘zero tolerance’ policy seriously and should send a message out to the public that Craigavon Borough Council are proactive and determined to make the borough a cleaner and safer environment for all our citizens and visitors to the borough.
“It is also an offence for an offender to fail to give their name and address to an authorized officer or to give false details. We follow up all such cases and the police are called where a person fails to comply with a request from an authorized officer.”
To report dog fouling, contact the Civic Centre either by phoning 028 38 312400, by letter or by going to www.craigavon.gov.uk and follow the link to litter. People should give as much details as possible including a description of the dog, time, date and location of the fouling. They can also use the contact us page on the website or email the details to email@example.com
Likewise, anyone who sees dog mess which needs to be picked up or a dog bin emptied should phone 028 3833 9031.
What areas in our area are worst for dog fouling? Text us your views to 84555, starting your message with LMCOMMENT and then a space. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views or comment on our facebook site.