1,000 Northumberland dog owners make the pledge

Gemma Fowle, animal welfare officer at Northumberland County Council; Cath Neal from Holywell and her Border Collie Cilla; and Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at the council. Picture by Helen Smith Photography.
Gemma Fowle, animal welfare officer at Northumberland County Council; Cath Neal from Holywell and her Border Collie Cilla; and Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at the council. Picture by Helen Smith Photography.

A scheme encouraging responsible dog ownership in Northumberland has welcomed its 1,000th member.

Cath Neal, from Holywell, committed to the initiative by filling out a Green Dog Walker pledge form online.

The community-led programme aims to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership across the county.

Participants pledge to agree to always clean up after their pet, put the bag in a bin and to use a friendly approach to encourage other dog walkers to do the same.

Those who sign up are sent a green dog walkers’ armband to wear when walking their pooch, as well as green doggy bags and pledge leaflets.

Northumberland County Council also offers a support kit to community groups and individuals who want to get involved.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment, presented Cath with a hamper of dog-related gifts for being the 1,000th member.

He said: “Dog fouling is one of our top environmental priorities and one of the issues most raised by residents.

“Green Dog Walkers is intended to be a friendly and non-confrontational approach to changing attitudes to the problem of dog fouling.

“It complements other council approaches, including issuing fines when irresponsible dog owners are caught and educational initiatives promoting responsible dog ownership.”

The next event to promote the scheme is at Newbiggin by the Sea on Saturday, May 12.

People will be able to sign up and there will be a free ‘check a chip’ stand, where you can make sure your dog is micro-chipped.

The event will take place at The Bandstand in central Newbiggin, from 11am to 3pm, and there will be a dog walk at noon.

For more information email greendogwalkers@northumberland.gov.uk, or visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/greendogwalkers