Local communities’ help is being sought to tackle the problem of dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets in a new campaign being launched by Perth & Kinross Council.
While it is only a small minority of pet owners who do not act responsibly when out and about with their dogs, each incident of fouling is anti-social behaviour and affects their neighbours, passers-by and the general public.
The Council’s Animal Welfare Team receives calls every year from Perth and Kinross residents complaining about the presence of dog mess that has not been picked up. Alongside this, regular patrols of areas known to be affected by fouling are carried out by Animal Welfare Officers as well as other activities to spread the word about why it is important to be a responsible dog owner and make sure you clean up after your pet and dispose of their waste properly.
However, the information received through calls from the public does not often lead to the culprits being identified, and without more specific ‘intelligence’, it is very difficult for officers to actually catch people ‘in the act’ of allowing their dogs to foul and take enforcement action.
As a result, the new campaign follows on from the current ‘Bag It and Bin It’ message by encouraging anyone offended by this type of anti-social behaviour to report details of incidents of fouling. The emphasis is on asking people to confidentially give as much information as possible to help identify the offenders – ‘If They Don’t Bin It – Drop Them In It’ – and play their part in preventing persistent fouling from affecting communities.
Targeting areas affected by persistent fouling
‘Hotspots’ where fouling has been persistent will be targeted, with streets nearby Craigie Primary School in Perth, and Newton Street, Keay Street and George Street in Blairgowrie being the first two locations to be covered. New temporary posters will go up in the hotspot areas, asking the public to call in confidence with information about anti-social dog owners in the neighbourhood. At the same time, increased patrols will be carried out by Animal Welfare Officers, aided by local police, Community Wardens and Greenspace Rangers where appropriate. They will approach dog walkers, offer dog waste bags and give details of the campaign.
Any information received will be followed up and acted on, including warning letters, and, where there is sufficient evidence, Fixed Penalty Notices. A further week of targeted patrols will then be carried out, using any intelligence gathered.
Environment Convener, Councillor Alan Grant said: “While Perth and Kinross streets have continued to receive high ratings for cleanliness, persistent dog fouling continues to be a problem that affects some communities around the area. Dog mess not cleared up is unsightly, unpleasant and a health risk.
By increasing targeted patrols, and seeking the public’s support to report as much information as possible about incidents of fouling, we are looking to really push home that clearing up after your dog is simple to do and makes a real difference to our streets, paths, parks and green spaces for everyone who uses them.”
Community Safety Convener, Councillor Douglas Pover commented: “We want to stress that any information provided will be treated with the utmost confidence. Your call could help us identify who is responsible for persistent dog fouling – anti-social behaviour that is unacceptable. This campaign is also intended as a reminder that not clearing up after your pet is unacceptable for lots of reasons and I hope that this new approach will play a part in encouraging the minority who still don’t pick up their dog’s mess to act responsibly.”