Tavistock dog warden on paint-wielding fouling patrol
IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets are being given a colourful reminder of how fouling can wreck the area.
A Tavistock dog warden is carrying out spray paint patrols in the town to literally highlight the problem.
Fed-up Murray Cowley marked more than 100 foulings on a single stretch of path in the Tiddybrook area on a recent patrol with his can of yellow spray paint.
He said: "Spraying allows me to monitor the problem and narrow down, over a period of time, when foulings are taking place, giving me more chance of catching the offenders.
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"It can also tweak an owner's conscience, and after a spraying visit I often find there are far fewer fouling, as happened in the case of Tiddybrook."
The non-toxic paint also helps people to avoid stepping in the dog mess and makes the public more aware of the issue, even if they do not own a dog.
Councillor Robert Oxborough, West Devon Borough Council's community services chairman, said: "Local residents and the council expect dog owners to take responsibility for their pet's fouling in public areas.
"Therefore, the council does not currently invest in a clean-up contract although some of the mess is cleared up during street cleansing.
"However, other than on main roads in towns, this is infrequent so we expect dog owners to clear up after their pets.
"If anyone knows someone who doesn't, we would like to know so we can take action."
It is an offence not to clean up after your dog and owners could face an immediate £50 fine with a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, if the case goes to court.
If anyone sees dog mess that could cause a health issue or knows of someone failing to clear up after their pet in the Tavistock area, they can report it via the borough council's website www.westdevon.gov.uk or call on 01822 813600.