Town and parish councils across County Durham are supporting the county council’s drive to promote responsible dog ownership.
Durham County Council is running a month-long campaign to encourage dog owners to be responsible and pick up after their pets.
Support from the town and parish councils will help to boost the campaign and encourage more dog owners to get involved and help keep their neighbourhoods clean and mess free.
Free waste bags are available to dog owners in most of the areas to encourage them to pick up after their dogs have fouled.
The majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dog, but there are a small minority who fail to pick up which is one of the major causes of complaint in the county and spoils the environment for everyone else.
Stephen Ragg from the County Durham Association of Local Councils, said: “We work closely with the county council and recognise that the problem of dog fouling is an issue raised by communities on a regular basis.
“Many town and parish councils provide assistance such as additional dog waste bins and bags to encourage owners to clean up after their pet.”
Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at Durham County Council, added: “We are very pleased with the campaign’s achievements so far. Interest in the green dog walkers scheme and the take up of dog microchipping is particularly encouraging.
“Only a small number of owners don’t clear up after their dogs and we would urge people to keep reporting details of offenders which will help us catch them and keep our environment clean.”
During Durham County Council’s campaign to encourage responsible dog ownership:
· 371 dog owners have signed up to the green dog walkers scheme, a scheme where volunteers pledge to clean up after their dog and carry extra waste bags to give to owners without one;
· 706 dogs have been microchipped so they can be easily identified if they become lost or stray;
· More than 467 golden tickets have been handed out to responsible dog owners who have a chance of winning a prize;
· 22 school assemblies have been held to encourage young people to be responsible dog owners in the future;
· 19 people have been issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice for failing to clean up after their dog and a further 16 were issued with warning letters.
As part of the campaign Durham County council neighbourhoods wardens are carrying out patrols to catch offenders.
Residents are being urged to report dog fouling to the council, providing details such as the time and date of the incident as well as a description of the dog and owner if possible. Call 03000 261 000 or go to www.durham.gov.uk/dogfouling to report online.