Dirty dog owners warned not to ‘mess about’ in Rock Park

Posted on: 5 June 2018

Dirty dog owners were the target of a high profile enforcement and education event in Rock Park, Barnstaple today (Tuesday 5 June).

North Devon Council’s Environmental team is cracking down on dirty dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets, and held the first of a series of planned operations in the district, which included a dog mess count, surveillance and enforcement action.

The day began at 6am with a ‘sweep’ of the park, highlighting any dog mess with fluorescent paint and counting the mess to quantify the problem. The team will revisit the park in a couple of weeks to carry out another count and see if the spraying has deterred any further fouling. As well as looking out for potential offenders that allow their dogs to foul in the park, the team chatted to dog owners about the issue, explaining how they can help by challenging and reporting people.

Executive member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “I was personally shocked by how much dog mess we found but this is just a snapshot of the problem we face across North Devon. Our enforcement team will be continuing this work in other problem areas around the district and we hope that raising awareness will send out a clear message to those dirty dog owners who don’t think dog mess is their problem. We hope it also reassures the public that something is being done to tackle the issue.

“One of the things we noticed on the day is how many dog owners exercise their dogs on the sports pitches – we would prefer you to keep dogs off this area of the park completely, as the pitches are in frequent use by many people, including children and it really isn’t fair for the grass to be soiled by dogs.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple (Newport) ward, Councillor John Mathews, says: “It’s a pity that a small number of irresponsible dog owners spoil the pleasure that Rock Park gives to so many people by allowing their dogs to foul. Hopefully today will raise awareness of the problem.”

Dog fouling is the latest issue being addressed as part of the council’s Clear Messages campaign, which aims to raise awareness of environmental issues such as littering, fly-tipping and responsible dog ownership. Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fixed penalty notice of £80 with a maximum fine of £1000.

Report dog fouling online, call 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

2 comments on “Dirty dog owners warned not to ‘mess about’ in Rock Park

  1. Ellie Taylor says:

    I’m really pleased that they are trying to improve things, especially in an area where children play but why have they not picked up the poo that they found? They search for it, spray a big circle around it and then leave it there?!

    • Mair says:

      Thanks for your interest in our campaign, Ellie. This is something we have considered, but unfortunately we don’t have the time or the money to pick up dogs mess. The idea of spraying around the mess is to highlight the issue, make those responsible aware that we are watching and what they have done is not acceptable. We don’t think picking up other people’s dog mess sends out the right message to dog owners – it is their responsibility and if someone else does it for them, they aren’t likely to change their ways.

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Posted in: Community | Environment