‘Irresponsible’ dog owners in Chichester are target of campaign

Winners of the competition holding their posters. Left to right front'row: Sophia Wakefield, Lily Mahoney, Joe Knight, Maya Patel, Millie Lewis.'Left to right back row: David Siggs, Birdham Parish Council clerk, Angela Parks, chairman of Birdham Parish Council, and Viv Magrath, Chichester District Council's dog warden.
Winners of the competition holding their posters. Left to right front'row: Sophia Wakefield, Lily Mahoney, Joe Knight, Maya Patel, Millie Lewis.'Left to right back row: David Siggs, Birdham Parish Council clerk, Angela Parks, chairman of Birdham Parish Council, and Viv Magrath, Chichester District Council's dog warden.

Colourful signs to highlight the problem of dog fouling have been produced by schoolchildren.

Year 6 pupils at Birdham Primary School worked with Chichester District Council dog control officers and Birdham Parish council, in the hope the signs will raise local awareness and persuade all dog owners to clean up after their pets.

“The council often receives complaints from children and parents about dog mess in parks where children want to play,” said a district council spokesman.

“By involving those in the community who are affected the council hopes it will send a message to irresponsible dog owners. A dog warden visited the school to work with the children and create pictures highlighting the problem. Birdham Parish Council chose five of the best designs to be professionally printed on to permanent signs. The signs will be paid for by the parish council.”

The result of the children’s efforts would be colourful and hard-wearing signs warning people of their responsibility to bag and bin their dog’s mess. The signs would be erected in various locations around the village.

Cllr John Connor, who has responsibility for environment, said the pupils’ response was very encouraging.

“It’s totally unacceptable that some people let their dogs foul public places,” he declared.

Parish council chairman Angela Parks said: “There were so many wonderful posters, that it made our job of choosing a winner very difficult.

“We have decided therefore to use five different designs from the 32 that were submitted to us.”

The district council said coming into contact with dog faeces can cause toxocariasis which can lead to serious illness and even blindness. Children are particularly vulnerable to this.

Failing to clear up after your pet is a criminal offence and offenders can face an on-the-spot fine of £75. To report dog fouling call 01243 534734 or 01243 785166 out of hours.