Date: 10/03/2008 Category: Community Safety
Dog owners are being told to clean-up after their pet when taking their pooch for walkies in Medway. This year, Medway Council has installed 59 new dog litter bins to help dog owners clean up their pet - bringing the total number of dog waste bins in Medway to nearly 700. As well as littering green spaces, pavements and alleyways, dog waste can cause illness and disease including toxocariasis, which can lead to sight loss, stomach and bowel problems, asthma and epileptic fits. Toxocara eggs are present in the faeces of dogs that are not regularly wormed or vaccinated, or pregnant bitches or puppies. You can catch toxocariasis if you swallow toxocara eggs. Children and toddlers are also at risk if they put their fingers in their mouths after playing in an area where dog mess has been left. Dog owner and Medway resident Sarah Foster said: “It makes me really angry when I see people not cleaning up after their dog as it gives responsible owners like me a bad name. It is disgusting and a real inconvenience having to clean dog mess off my shoes because someone can’t be bothered to clean-up after their dog. “I would encourage dog owners to always take a supply of the council’s free dog waste bags with them whenever they take their pet out so they can clean up after it.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Enforcement Cllr Rehman Chishti said: “Dog fouling is unhygienic, unpleasant and anti-social. Most dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets, however a small minority do not. “Medway Safer Communities Team works hard to make the streets clean and free from dog mess. Canine bins are provided in hotspot areas, and dog bags are provided for free at all local council office. Dog owners can also ask officers for dog waste bags to help them clean up after their pets.” Medway Safer Communities Officers will investigate complaints of dog fouling and have the powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £80 to anyone caught not cleaning up after their pet. Repeat offenders can also be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1,000. Residents can request a free supply of dog waste bags from all council offices or by calling Customer First on 01634 333333.