Green scheme leads to big drop in dog fouling complaints
July 22, 2018
An initiative to promote responsible dog ownership in the county has led to a drop in dog fouling complaints by more than a quarter.
Since the Green Dog Walkers scheme started last summer there has been a 26% reduction in the number of complaints about dog fouling received by Northumberland County Council.
And because fewer complaints need a response this has allowed more proactive dog fouling enforcement patrolling to be carried out in 2018 and more work carried out in support of the scheme.
Despite the fall in complaints the council will be tough on offenders who let their dogs foul public areas.
The Green Dog Walkers scheme is a community-led programme to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership across the county.
Dog owners are encouraged to join by signing the Green Dog Walkers pledge. Those signing the pledge agree to always clean up after their dog and put the bag in a bin and to use a friendly approach to encourage other dog walkers to do the same.
Those who sign up are sent a green dog walkers armband to wear when walking their dog to help draw attention to the scheme as well as green doggy bags and pledge leaflets.
The council also provides a Green Dog Walkers support kit to local community groups and individuals who want to get involved. Since its introduction more than 1,300 people have signed up to the programme.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “Since this scheme was introduced we’ve seen the first significant drop in dog fouling complaints in the last five years.
“Dog fouling is one of our top environmental priorities and one of the issues most commonly raised with us by residents. This friendly and non-confrontational approach really seems to be changing attitudes to the problem of dog fouling and I’d like to thank everyone who has signed up.
“The scheme complements other council approaches across the county including issuing fines when irresponsible dog owners are caught allowing their dogs to foul without picking up after them and educational initiatives promoting responsible dog ownership.
“In the last financial year 85 fixed penalty fines were issued in Northumberland for dog fouling – the highest number issued by any of the seven north east councils last year.
“This approach of education, engagement and enforcement is really paying dividends.”