Anger over dog mess left on top of graves

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DOG owners blighting a Blyth graveyard are being urged to clean up their act.

Hundreds of people signed a petition submitted to Northumberland County Council last year calling for dogs to be kept on a lead in and around Cowpen Cemetery, pictured.

However, the problem has gone from bad to worse since then, according to some.

They say more dog mess than ever is being left around the cemetery, even on top of graves, by negligent owners failing to clean up after their pets.

Angela Rolt, who lives near the Malvins Close cemetery, was left shocked and angry after seeing dog dirt on a family grave.

She said: “This issue has been going on for years and years. It’s just getting out of hand now.

“I saw one lady who takes her two dogs there, lets them off their leads and then lets them mess all over the place.

“It’s disgusting. How can people do it?

“Some dog owners pick up after their pets, but some don’t.”

Angela walks past the cemetery every weekday on her way to work and is able to see the grave – containing the remains of her grandparents, aunt and sister – from the path outside.

She said she was horrified to see dog excrement left on top of the grave among flowers planted by another relative.

“I’m so mad,” said Angela. “My uncle has kept the grave nice and has flowers planted, and it would have broken his heart if that dog mess had been there when he turned up.”

Angela added that she was hoping to talk to Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell and county councillors to see if anything could be done to tackle the problem.

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: “Cemetery staff are in regular contact with the council’s animal welfare officers, who do patrol the area to advise dog owners of their responsibilities.

“Dogs must keep on a lead at all times while in any cemetery or garden of remembrance in Northumberland.

“Officers can serve a fixed-penalty notice when they observe a dog not kept on a lead or fouling the land in a cemetery.”

“Dog waste bags are also available to pick up from the cemetery.”