Owner must take responsibility

A dog owner responsibly cleans up after her dog - but there are many who are flouting the law.
A dog owner responsibly cleans up after her dog - but there are many who are flouting the law.

READERS have been in touch again as the problem of dog fouling continues to plague Arbroath’s streets.

Kirkton resident Rose Thompson called in on Monday about a particularly unpleasant case which she discovered that morning.

She said: “There is a great big heap of it outside my house this morning. Either the boy’s bag wasn’t big enough or he should have gone to Specsavers.

“You can’t miss it up here on the path, it must have been a horse.”

Part of the problem Rose believes is that parents are not impressing on their children the importance of responsible dog ownership.

She added: “With it being the holidays the parents are letting the kids take the dog out and there is no way a kid will pick up dog muck.

“People who own dogs should know what they’ve got to do, pick up behind it. If they can’t see it then they should have gone to Specsavers.”

Suggestions on how to deal with the issue have been quite strict. Rose added: “Why don’t people pick up behind their dogs? If I was a judge sitting on this case I would tell them that they wouldn’t be able to keep a dog for the rest of their lives.”

Reader Clive Wedge has also been in touch and shared with us how our Antipodean cousins deal with the nuisance.

He said: “In 2005 I spent some time over in Coolangatta (Queensland, Australia) and saw the arrangements they had for managing dogs.

“On the main public beach there were no dogs allowed, further along the beach this was eased to dogs having to be on leads, then finally, away from the main beach dogs could run free.

“On the promenade dogs had to be strictly on leads at all times.

“There were plenty of bins for the dog mess plus, they had a facility for getting bags for the dog excrement alongside the bins or at the entrance of the dog walking area.

“I think we could learn a lot from how they approach the problem of dog fouling in Australia. What did help was very clear signage explaining the restrictions for dogs and the clearly marked boundaries of each area.

“There is a more strict regime of monitoring the areas, too, with associated penalties.”

Clive also described that in urban areas there were special dog agility enclosures where dogs had free reign and access to all sorts of agility equipment and water.

He explained: “Another feature they have in more urban areas are fenced off spaces about the size of a football pitch where, with a double gate to prevent dogs getting out, here they provided dog agility equipment. There was also a fresh water stand pipe to enable the dogs to have a drink.”

Clive added: “I hope that it will be possible to apply some of the above not just in Angus but all over the country. It should be possible to let children and adults play in the parks without the worry of dog mess but also allow dogs to be walked.

“As a nation of dog lovers, I hope we can work towards better facilities for the public and dog walkers in the future.”