Dog owners urged to sign up for scheme to tackle mess

Trevor Clydesdale, Cathy Devlin, Shane Devlin, Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Pamela Hanna with Millie, the Miniature Schnauzer.
Trevor Clydesdale, Cathy Devlin, Shane Devlin, Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Pamela Hanna with Millie, the Miniature Schnauzer.

A new scheme aimed at tackling the issue of dog fouling has been launched and is calling on volunteers to sign up and make a difference.

The Green Dog Walkers (GDW) wants to encourage people to get involved and take a pledge to clean up after their dogs as well as acting as a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to do the same.

Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Shane Devlin with Millie, the Miniature Schnauzer.

Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Shane Devlin with Millie, the Miniature Schnauzer.

Those who sign up to the scheme will receive a doggie welcome pack which contains the Green Dog Walkers® armband, dog bone, bag dispenser, doggie bags and clip on hand sanitiser. They then take the pledge to say they will wear the armband when walking their dog to remind people to clean up after their pooch as well as carrying extra doggie bags and be happy to ‘lend’ these bags to dog walkers who need them.

The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Darryn Causby helped launch the scheme.

“Dog fouling is a highly emotive subject and it is simply unacceptable to allow your dog to foul and no longer clean it up,” he commented.

“The Green Dog Walkers scheme, therefore, is a great way to raise awareness and change attitudes, and we hope that it will help us see a reduction in dog fouling on our streets and in our parks. I would really encourage people to sign up and get involved to help us to stamp out dog fouling in a non-confrontational way. This is an issue high on our priority list as well, as the priority list of our residents, and I look forward to seeing people taking part and becoming ambassadors for the scheme.”

Green Dog Walkers is designed as a friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling and at no time when wearing the armband will volunteers confront other dog walkers about dog fouling. If you see someone wearing the Green Dog Walkers armband it means they have “taken the pledge” and carry extra doggie bags - and will distribute them to other dog walkers if asked.

The council takes a serious approach to all dog fouling offences and anyone detected not cleaning up after their dog can receive a £80 Fixed Penalty Fine. Conviction in court, for failing to pay the fine for this offence, carries a criminal record and a penalty up to a maximum of £1,000.

Dog fouling can be reported by calling the Council on 028 3831 2553 or by clicking on www.craigavondogfouling.com and completing a confidential witness statement. You will be asked for your name and address, contact details, the date, time, location, and details of the offence. The culprit will not be told who made the report. The ‘Witness Statements’ will allow the Council to follow up the complaint.

For more details or to sign up contact Pamela on 3831 2534 or email pamela.hanna@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk.