Harrogate Borough Council’s Environmental Protection Team took part in the Dogs Trust National Big Scoop Day.
The Dogs Trust (the UK’s largest dog welfare charity) and Keep Britain Tidy are asking everyone to get involved to ‘scoop’ up those irresponsible dog owners that don’t pick up after their pets.
The council holds regular bag and flag events around the district and chose Woodfield Park to take part in this National Big Scoop Day as that is where it launched its first bag and flag event over three years ago when over 400 piles were not picked up in just one day. Regular patrols have shown an improvement since the launch of bag and flag events.
The council’s team removed 56 piles the majority being along the top footpath verge. No piles were found in the children’ area and a very few on the football pitch. The Officers on site gave out numerous dog fouling leaflets and free bags and our actions were well received.
Figures for the previous bag and flag events on Woodfield.
Sept 2010 – 521
Oct 2010 – 112
Sept 2011 – 71
June 2013 – 56
Lucy Reed, one of the council’s dog control officers, said:
We do target known hot spot areas as part of our normal activities. And holding regular bag and flag events is part of our campaign to stamp out this anti-social act committed by a minority of dog owners.
We would encourage more members of the public to contact us to tell us where they see problems. Anyone not picking up after their dog should be aware that we are looking for them. These are probably law-abiding citizens but not picking up after their dog has fouled is actually an illegal offence.
The Dogs Trust is providing the council’s team with bags, leaflets, and high visibility capes. They will be bagging and flagging, giving out free dog poo bags and information leaflets and if anyone wants their dog micro-chipping for free (before it becomes law in a few years’ time), we will take details and make arrangements to visit dog owners at home.
Mark Lee, Environmental Health Officer, said:
Over time we can see an upward trend in responsible dog ownership with a massive 90 per cent improvement between September 2010 and June 2013 but dog walkers can still do better.
As with many areas in the district the Dog Control Officers will continue to carry out enforcement patrols to catch those who despite encouragement refuse to act responsibly. Anyone found not picking up will be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice whether they saw the dog foul or not, no excuses.
So our advice to dog walkers is keep the dog close, watch it all times and use the time to exercise and play with your dog.
Harrogate Borough Council thanks those dog owners who do pick up after their dogs and encourages them and any other member of the public to contact the Dog Control Officers on 01423 556633 to pass on any information such as names, addresses or a description of the person or dog they walk and the time they allow their dog to foul and not pick up.
Dog owners are reminded that dog fouling can be disposed of in any dog waste bin, public litter bin or double bagged and put in with their domestic refuse.