Northumberland County Council is holding an anti-dog fouling awareness event on 15 August in Hirst Park, Ashington at 10.00am to promote the newly launched ‘Don’t stand for it’ campaign.
The ‘don’t stand for it’ event will be attended by two community protection officers and two animal welfare officers who will be on hand to give to advice members of the public on the actions needed to be a responsible pet owner.
The Friends of Hirst Park society will also be holding a free activity day for children from the area. Residents are invited to bring their dogs along where the animal welfare officers will be providing a free micro chipping service to animal owners.
Last year Northumberland County Council and Croft Vets handed out over 400,000 free dog poop bags. Community protection officers will be building on this success by giving out additional dog fouling bags whilst highlighting the new posters situated around the County.
They will be actively promoting the message that everyone must pick up after their dog anywhere on publicly accessible land in Northumberland 365 days a year. Dog faeces are not only an annoyance but can also cause serious illness and even blindness if the worm Toxocara is contracted by small children.
Campaign stickers are also being used to highlight bins in the local community and encourage people to use them for dog mess.
In 2011/12 officers of the Public Protection Service investigated over 1,200 complaints regarding dog fouling. There were successful enforcement actions against offenders including recent prosecutions.
The campaign’s purpose is to raise awareness of this issue among the public and re-enforce key messages including:
Picking up after your dog, or reporting those that don’t, helps protect Northumberland’s environment for all. Residents that want to help protect our environment can report offenders by contacting the Council on 0845 600 6400 or by emailing email@example.com .
Offenders can face an on the spot fine of £75.00 and if prosecuted, a fine of up to £1000 if they fail to pick up after their dog(s).
Victoria Barrington, Head of Public Protection said: “I would like to encourage the public to assist us in protecting Northumberland’s environment by reporting incidents of dog fouling they witness to the Council. Working together we can make a positive difference to promote responsible citizenship and ensure the small minority that break the law don’t get away with it.”
Councillor Anita Romer, executive for public health and protection said: “This campaign is about raising awareness of dog fouling because it is a real public health problem. I hope the campaign will convince the small minority who still do not pick up after their dogs to start. If not they could be facing on the spot fines of £75.”