YEP Reader Panel tackled unsavoury and unsightly subject of dog dirt.
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This topic, posed by a community forum member, prompted a mixed response.
As a dog owner myself, I ALWAYS pick up dog mess ... and not just my dog's mess sometimes! The council needs to seriously step up to their responsibilities and look for, and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, all offenders. When I approach offenders, I get abuse.
Unfortunately dog fouling is still a significant problem in Leeds, despite the council's best efforts to install bins near public spaces. As the onus is on the owner to collect the waste, current fines are not always enforceable, as I suppose it's not easy to catch the irresponsible owners.
Joanne St Lawrence
Dog fouling is not a problem in my area. I have never seen any. I shop in Armley and Pudsey and can't say I have ever seen any there.
As with all these issues of anti social behaviour, we need to balance education, deterrence and retribution. Do owners realise the level of toxic contamination in our parks? Do they realise the harm it can cause? For example, it has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. Deterrence has to include active patrolling and a whistle blowing service. If all else fails, the dog should be removed to a rescue centre, and heavy fines imposed.
One way to tackle the issue would be make waste bins more accessible where dog walking is most common. Encouraging more people to walk in dog parks may also help as less people would be walking in areas not aimed at dog walking.
I think a lot of this comes down to the owner not being responsible enough. Charities who let people adopt should be more firm that this comes with being a dog owner. More CCTV in fouling-prone areas, with signs to advertise this, could make owners feel more pressure. Studies found a pair of eyes next to boxes of eggs saw less people stealing without a donation. Maybe the same could be done next to dog waste bins?