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Dirty dog-owners targeted in new clean-up campaign

EYES ON YOU ... Coun Ernest Gibson, left, with animal welfare enforcement officer Frank Rowland, in Elliott Gardens.
EYES ON YOU ... Coun Ernest Gibson, left, with animal welfare enforcement officer Frank Rowland, in Elliott Gardens.

DOG owners who fail to pick up their pet’s mess are being targeted in a new poster campaign in South Tyneside.

Glow-in-dark images – featuring a pair of eyes – are being put up on housing estates to remind people to clean up after their canine.

Dog owners need to be taking responsibility for their actions and cleaning up their dog’s mess.

Coun Ernest Gibson

The move has been taken after complaints from fed-up residents.

The Whiteleas estate, in South Shields, has become one of the first areas in the borough to see the posters go up.

Statistics displayed on the poster reveal nine out of 10 dog owners clean up after their dogs – however, those who don’t are are putting people’s health at risk.

The posters have been welcomed by Whiteleas councillor, Coun Ernest Gibson, who says he has received a number of complaints about the issue.

He said: “I have been approached by a number of residents when I’ve been out and about, fed up with the dog mess that’s on the streets.

“The council do go out when they can and clean it up, but they can’t be everywhere at once.

“Dog owners need to be taking responsibility for their actions and cleaning up their dog’s mess. Not only is it unsightly to see on the streets, it is also a health hazard.”

Dog waste is a host for toxicara – also known as roundworm – which can cause serious illness or blindness.

It usually affects children aged between one and four years, however, it can affect people of all ages.

Young children are most at risk as they are more likely to put things in their mouths, and less likely to wash their hands properly.

Symptoms can include seizures, breathing difficulties, a very red and painful eye, and clouded vision, usually only in one eye.

Left untreated, toxocariasis can cause permanent loss of vision in the affected eye.

Those caught allowing their pet to foul in public places without clearing up after them face an £80 Fixed Penalty Notice (reduced to £50 if paid within seven days). Failure to pay the notice will result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

To report incidents of dog fouling call South Tyneside Council’s contact centre on 427 7000.

Council bosses say all calls will be treated in confidence and any information provided will be acted upon.

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa