Chichester District Council is launching an initiative that aims to help stop residents and visitors falling foul of their most loyal friends.
It is encouraging dog walkers to get behind its Green Dog Walkers scheme, a community-led programme to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership across the district. The scheme is part of the council’s ‘Against Litter’ campaign.
The council wants as many people as possible to sign up to the Green Dog Walker pledge. By doing this, dog owners are agreeing to always clean up after their dog and put the bag in a bin or take it home with them; as well as taking a friendly approach to encourage other dog walkers to do the same.
Those who sign up will receive a pack, including a special badge and car window sticker to show that they are part of the Green Dog Walkers scheme.
Green Dog Walkers is intended to be a friendly and non-confrontational approach to changing attitudes to the problem of dog fouling. It will complement other existing council approaches. These include issuing fines when irresponsible dog owners are caught allowing their dogs to foul without picking up after them, and also through educational community initiatives promoting responsible dog ownership.
Cllr John Connor, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Chichester District Council, wants to encourage as many dog owners as possible to sign up.
"Failing to clean up after your dog is unacceptable. Dog fouling is one of our top environmental priorities and one of the issues most commonly raised with us by residents. Not only is it unpleasant but dog dirt can carry serious diseases which can cause blindness and liver disorders.
“Our dog wardens work hard to educate the public on responsible dog ownership and our commitment to effective enforcement will continue with patrols in problem areas across the district.
“We also want to remind dog owners that you can put dog bags in a dog or litter bin, and even your waste bin at home, so there really isn’t an excuse.
“Green Dog Walkers will have the power to add to their efforts and change attitudes about dog fouling in the district in a positive and friendly way.”
Local veterinary surgeries are also backing the scheme, including AlphaPet, which has clinics in Chichester and Birdham.
Nicola Bulbeck from AlphaPet Veterinary Clinics says: “As a local independent veterinary practice in Chichester, we like to promote responsible dog ownership and encourage local dog walkers to help look after the environment. We are really pleased to support this new scheme and look forward to sharing information about it with all of our clients.”
If you are interested in becoming a Green Dog Walker, please sign up at www.chichester.gov.uk/greendogwalkers or by calling 01243 785166. This is the third stage of the council’s ‘Against Litter’ campaign, which aims to reduce fly tipping, dog fouling and littering. The council has already introduced a trial litter enforcement scheme and ‘adopt an area’ scheme. Further information on these schemes and how to get involved can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/againstlitter