Sharon Morris:”Watch out for the doggy poo!”

My children and I often play a game as we walk along, usually to and from school, and this game has recently become pretty competitive, it’s called “Watch out for the doggy poo!”. 5 points go to the first person to spot some dog poo by shouting out “Watch out for the doggy poo!” and pointing to where it is on the pavement. 1 point if you didn’t spot the poo but manage not to step in it and -50 points if you step in any poo or I run the buggy wheels through any (it can be VERY tricky to avoid poo with the buggy when it is spread across the pavement). The winner is the one with the most points (and clean shoes/wheels!). I am pretty good at this game, even if I do say so myself, much better than my children who aren’t as observant as I am but they are only young and their observational skills should improve with age!

Joking aside this is a pretty serious problem across our district. Dog poo on the pavements is not only a nuisance but a health hazard as the poo can contain many forms of harmful bacteria and parasites including Toxocariasis which can lead to blindness. The incidence of dog poo on our pavements always worsens at this time of year as many people are forced by the darkness to walk their dogs around the streets instead of over the fields. A minority of dog owners, and it really is a minority, seem to believe that if their dog poos it is acceptable to just leave it. It isn’t. Picking up your dog’s poo from the pavement IS a legal duty, unless you are registered blind and your dog is a guide dog, and part and parcel of responsible dog ownership. You can face a fine of up to £1,000 for failing to clean up after your dog.

I have a dog and I walk other peoples dogs.  It isn’t the nicest of jobs I admit but I clean up after them where I am obliged to.  Nobody should have to run the gauntlet of dog poo along our pavements, nor should anyone have to deal with the nasty job of cleaning poo out of shoes, off of buggy wheels, off of floors, out of carpets and in the worst cases out of clothing and off of hands and skin.

There are red dog poo bins dotted around the district and these are emptied regularly, however as a last resort you can put double bagged dog poo in any waste bin if you cannot take it home with you to dispose of in your black wheelie bin. The Council also give away FREE biodegradable poo bags from the Council Offices in Saffron Walden, the Tourist Information Centre in Thaxted and the Library in Great Dunmow. There really are no excuses to not clean up after your dog.