Torbay’s successful but controversial campaign featured a hard-hitting image appearing to show a young child eating dog faeces which they found in a playground, with the headline “Children will put anything in their mouths”.
The posters were displayed in local bus shelters. Whilst it was envisaged by Torbay that the campaign posters would generate a number of complaints from the public, a total of 1 was received.
The aims of the Torbay campaign were:
- To increase awareness of the issues associated with dog fouling.
- To increase awareness of the penalties associated with dog fouling.
- To highlight that public litter bins can be used to dispose of bagged dog faeces.
- To increase the number of ‘intelligent’ dog fouling reports received by the council.
- To reduce the number of complaints received by the council with regard to dog fouling in Torbay.
In addition to the posters, Torbay also
- Creation of a dedicated webpage – giving information and advice about dog fouling. The webpage encouraged the public to report persistent offenders, and the information required by the Dog Warden to enable enforcement action to be taken.
- Implementation of lamppost stickers – to raise awareness about the penalties associated with dog fouling.
- Circulation of ‘Dog Watch’ initiative’. Dog Watch consists of large, brightly coloured, branded tri-signs which are placed into dog fouling hotspots and accompanied by targeted enforcement.
Dog fouling continues to be a source of a large number of complaints by loacl people to councillors and has been the subject of a number of recent stories in the local newspaper.
Cllr Graeme Crome – Merstham Ward Councillor :
”As a dog owner myself, I am disappointed by the number of owners across Merstham that see fit not to clean up after their dog. It is a shame that so many people appear to have little regard for the care of their dog and for the environment we all live in together.
There is no excuse for letting you dog foul, it’s very easy to clean up after your dog using either dog bags or even nappy sacks (both are very cheap and readily available). The bags can be disposed of in ANY of the councils litter bins as well as the dog bins.
It may be that we now need to consider other ways of shaming irresponsible dog owners in to clearing up after their animals, the approach taken by Torbay is one approach that we could learn lessons from. ”
The majority of local dog owners clear up after their dogs, but a growing number continue to ignor their responsibility and leave the mess for someone else to clear up. Merstham councillors would like local residents views on this approach, please leave us your comments.