New weapon in the fight against dog mess hits Plymouth streets
A SUPER pooper scooper has hit the streets of Plymouth to clean up dog mess.
Fido is an all-terrain buggy with a suction hose which should make disposing of muck more efficient.
The Fido machine, or Faeces Intake Disposal Operation to give it its full name, has just started patrolling the Barbican and waterfront areas.
Plymouth City Council began testing the vehicle last year after a rise in complaints about dog-fouling.
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It has a collection unit which removes faeces from grass or hard surfaces without causing damage.
The mess is then collected with disinfectant and water to be turned into slurry for easy disposal. Disinfectant can also be sprayed once the muck is removed.
The council has warned irresponsible owners that buying the machine was not a get-out clause and owners still face fixed penalty notices and prosecution.
Cllr Brian Vincent, cabinet member for the environment, said: "There is nothing worse than dog muck on our streets and we would like to stress that this does not let dog-owners off the hook.
"Most owners do the right thing, but the few who do not can have a serious impact."
Dog faeces contain parasites and diseases that can seriously harm and even blind people.
In 2011/12, 560 complaints were received by the Public Protection Service, an increase of just over 20 per cent on the 444 complaints the previous year.
The council said the rise was down to residents being more willing to come forward and report the problem.
The authority can take legal action against dog owners who do not pick up after their pets. Owners can be ordered to pay a fine which must be paid within 14 days.
Currently there are 340 dog bins across the city, which are emptied every week, with many emptied daily.