Dog owners urged to bag and bin pet mess

Newark and Sherwood District Council is appealing to dog owners to clear up after their pets, supporting a national campaign to ‘Bag it and Bin it.’

In conjunction with Dogs Trust, the council is using National Poop Scoop Week 2011 from 25th-31st July to encourage responsible dog ownership, urging people to pick up after their dog and help keep our public spaces clean and free of smelly, unsightly and dangerous dog mess.

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s cabinet member responsible for environment and parks and open spaces, Cllr Nora Armstrong, said she was a dog owner herself and stressed the importance of cleaning up after your pets.

She said: “While the majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dog, a careless few are still giving dogs a bad name and spoiling parks and open spaces for others. The council is working hard to ensure a clean and safe environment for all the community- picking up after your dog is so simple and makes such a difference to where you live.

“Each year the council receives hundreds of complaints about dog mess. Along with Dogs Trust, we would urge all dog owners to be responsible and where possible to ‘Bag it and Bin it’ - carefully turn the plastic bag inside out and your dogs mess will then be ‘bagged’. You should then dispose of your bag in a ‘Poop’ bin. Bagged dog waste can also be put into a public litter bin if a specific dog waste bin is not provided.”

Dog Control Orders are in force across Newark and Sherwood. Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 the council has made a number of orders which will affect certain land to which the public has access to such as parks, playing fields, village greens and sports pitches. Signs are placed in the specific areas affected to warn the public of the orders.

As well as some areas having restricted access for dogs, such as children’s play areas, the whole district is covered by the Fouling of Land by Dogs (Newark and Sherwood District) Order 2010. Anyone who does not, or does have a valid reason not to clear up after their dog, is liable to a Fixed Penalty Notice fine of £75. If this is not paid this can rise to as much as £1,000 in court. Fines can be issued on the spot by the council’s animal welfare officers, park rangers and police community support officers.

In 2010/11 the council handed out six fixed penalty notices, five for dog fouling offences and one for not keeping a dog on a lead where it should be. More information is available on the council’s website at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/dogs or through Dogs Trust’s website at www.poopscoopweek.co.uk