Help us to win the war on dog fouling
THIS week, the Portadown Times has declared war on dog fouling with a campaign to make more people pick up after their dogs and report those who don’t.
The paper’s facebook page has been buzzing with complaints about what appears to be one of the town’s biggest ‘pet hates’, with members of the public fed up at having to dodge dog poo on pavements and grass verges.
It’s a long-running problem which many people feel needs to be stamped out once and for all.
The Portadown Times is being actively supported in its campaign by Craigavon Borough Council, whose offices have been inundated recently with complaints about dog fouling.
As an indication of how seriously it views the situation, and in view of the Portadown Times campaign, the council is launching a blitz on dog fouling beginning in earnest next week.
The council’s three environmental wardens will be patrolling the town’s problem hot-spots, including the Gilford Road, Tandragee Road and Annagh area, the Bann Boulevard, Garvaghy Road, and Long Lane, Gilford Road.
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 . It emerged that while the letter were being delivered at the Green, Long Lane, a woman at one address took the letter, rolled it in a ball and threw it back at the warden, saying “That’s what I think of you and your dog fouling”.
“That shows the type of abuse wardens are subjected to,” a council spokesperson said.
She pointed out that in 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.
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Weather for Portadown
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west