A DISGRUNTLED grandmother is kicking up a stink after claiming dog owners are leaving a mess on “sacred ground.”
Anne Pellow says she is sick of seeing dog owners letting their pets run wild around Harton Cemetery in South Shields.
The grandmother-of-two, who has been going to the site for nearly 60 years to visit her mother’s grave, said she has noticed the problem getting worse recently.
She said: “It’s horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Council chiefs say they have had no other complaints in the last year, but Mrs Pellow said: “There were loads of them in here on Monday.
“They are treating it like a park, and really it’s sacred ground.
“I go there to visit my mother’s grave, and I don’t want to see dog mess all over it.”
Mrs Pellow, 74, of South Shields Road, said she has suggested the council put up a sign to deter owners from taking their pets into the cemetery.
“A notice saying no dogs in the cemetery’ would do the trick. It’s just disgusting.”
She continued: “I saw six adults in there with dogs and about six or seven children the other day. They really are just treating it like a park.
“I don’t take my grandkids in now but I have over the years and I never left them jump around over people’s graves.
“Something has to happen there. I’m not happy about it.”
South Tyneside Council’s lead member for area management and community safety, Coun Tracey Dixon, said: “The council takes very seriously anything that spoils the borough’s environment or poses a risk to public health. Dog fouling is among these concerns.
“In relation to cemeteries across South Tyneside, we have prominent signage on the front gates to inform dog owners about dog fouling, and that pets need to be on short leads at all times when they are walking through the cemetery.
“If we receive an increased number of complaints about a certain area, then we will intensify the number of patrols our dog wardens make in the localities in question.
“Dog wardens and other council staff have the authority to give on-the-spot fines to dog owners who are caught not clearing up after their animals.
“The council would always encourage owners to take their dog waste home or dispose of it in the bins provided.
“We have no records over the past 12 months of any other official complaints to the council’s customer services team about dog fouling in Harton Cemetery.”