Merstham Dog day to combat dog fouling and strays

Election pics 049 In response to concerns raised by local residents about the issue of dog fouling and stray dogs in the Merstham area, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, along with Surrey Police and Raven Housing Trust, have arranged “Happy Healthy Dogs”, a special advice and awareness raising day, to combat the issue.

The event on Wednesday 19 May 2010, part of “Happy Healthy Merstham”, takes place on Epiphany Green, at the end of Portland Drive, from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

Activities include a low-cost microchip service; information and advice from local vets, the RSPCA, Surrey Police and the Council’s Dog Warden and awareness raising activities.

Promoting responsible ownership

Cllr Graeme Crome – Merstham Ward Councillor, said: “Dog fouling and stray dogs have become an increasing problem in Merstham, with 66 per cent of residents flagging it up as an issue of concern.

“The Happy Healthy Dogs event is aimed at promoting responsible dog ownership to help tackle these issues and encourage owners to make Merstham dog mess free.”

Low-cost micro-chipping

A local kennelling provider will be offering a low-cost micro-chipping service for just £3 per dog – a service which usually costs around £30 per pet – to encourage more owners get their pets chipped.

Micro-chipping and the wearing of a dog tag with a phone number on is important because it enables lost pets to be easily identified so they can be quickly reunited with their owners, reducing the number of strays that end up in the pound waiting to be rehomed, or returned at cost to their owner.

Information and advice

Local vets and the RSPCA will also be providing information and advice to pet owners on the health and wellbeing of their pets and the Council’s Dog Warden and Surrey Police’s Police Dog Liaison Officer will be on hand to answer any questions about dog related legislation and owners’ legal responsibilities.

Merstham Neighbourhood Specialist Officer, PC Hannah Vincent, said: “Happy Healthy Merstham aims to provide residents with a host of free events and access to information and advice on a variety of topics.

“Dog fouling is a real concern for residents so I hope this day of action reassures the Merstham community that we are committed to tackling this issue.”

Enforcement

Colourful posters drawn up by local school children to highlight their concerns around dog fouling on their routes to school and in their parks and playgrounds will also be display.

In addition, the Council’s Love Where You Live officer will be conducting a survey on the current levels of dog fouling in the area and Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued to anyone caught allowing their dog to foul and not clearing up after them.

Clean up

Cllr Graeme Crome, ward Member for Merstham, said: “I am very pleased that the Happy Healthy Merstham event will be focusing on the problem we face with dog fouling across Merstham.

“It is so quick and easy to clean up after our dogs and it will help make Merstham a cleaner safer place for us all. I strongly encourage dog owners to get involved in this event.”

Following the event the officers will continue to monitor the situation and the impact of this and subsequent awareness raising events, which it is hoped will have a similar affect to its cigarette litter campaign, and significantly reduce the amount of fouling in the area.

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