FOULING: Report the culprits

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May I please appeal to your readers to help stamp out the dreadful disease which seems to take over our streets as soon as the dark nights begin.

I refer to the dogs’ dirt, which miraculous appears on all the streets, greens, parks, gardens and beaches. Owners should know better.

I am horrified at the lack of decency displayed by some, but not all, owners of such lovely, loyal creatures, who probably would pick it up themselves if they could.

What is wrong with you? Do you enjoy the sight of a beautiful area marred by such a mess? Or is it just your own dog’s leavings that you don’t mind?

As a dog owner myself, and confined to a wheelchair, I manage to clear it up and dispose of it in a safe and secure place, so why can’t everyone? Surely it’s not hard to do.

Or are you one of those people who believe that as a council taxpayer, the council should do it for you?

I can assure you that this is not the case. It is your responsibility, no one else’s, although Northumberland County Council does help by providing free strong bags to pick it up with. You can pick them up at any council contact centre.

Although the council does have a very proactive dog warden in the south east, it isn’t always possible to identify the culprits. However, if these anti-social individuals are caught, then even for a first offence there is a hefty fine.

I have just arrived home from a morning spent on the streets of Seghill. This is a village with a very caring group of residents who organise galas, old folks’ treats, book sales, coffee mornings – you name it, the list is endless, even litter picks.

But one thing they can’t handle is the amount of dogs’ dirt which lies on just about every street, even on the main street where you’d think it would be witnessed by someone who could catch it on camera. Yesterday I was in that beautiful new estate at the top of Seaton Delaval, Wheatfields, where even there, I struggled to avoid seeing it.

Surely please, no matter who gets caught out, does it matter? If it’s a neighbour, a relative, or your best friend, if they leave your space in a soiled state because they don’t think it matters, then it’s time they found out that it does matter.

It is smelly, quite often it’s carrying disease, it makes an awful mess of the streets where it lies and it makes an awful mess on your own or a child’s clothes, hands or legs.

So please listen to my plea – report, report, report everyone you see who does not respect their own, but most of all your space by leaving a trail of filth behind.

Even with the ‘bad back’ I’ve heard used as an excuse, you can still manage.

All that is needed is a child’s seaside spade with an adjustable handle and one free ‘doggie bag’. Scoop it up from whichever side is best, and ‘bingo’ you’ve given back some self-respect to your much maligned creature by your side.

Margaret Richards

Councillor for Seghill with Seaton Delaval

Northumberland County Council