Yes, we canine!

Volunteers for a project to help communities enforce anti-dog fouling measures are being sought in Garforth.

The ‘dog watch’ volunteers will be given training and tools to help them report fouling, so that the council can then enforce anti-fouling measures more effectively. Initially being done in the Garforth area, the council hope the pilot can give teeth to enforcement of measures throughout the rest of the city.

Volunteers will receive training on the law and how to record information to help with enforcement, as well as support from Leeds City Council to arrange action days and patrols.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, stronger and safer communities, said:

“We all know dog mess is unavoidable if you own a dog, so every owner needs to clean up after their dog. We know most people behave responsibly, so we want volunteers to help us to tackle irresponsible people not clearing up their dog’s mess. We want to give these volunteers the bite to match their bark.”

“It is neither a defence say you didn’t know about your dog’s actions or the law, nor is not having a way to remove the faeces. Failure to clean up dog mess promptly can mean prosecution and a fine.”

Leeds City Council Dog Warden, Gavin Jarrett, said:

“We all know how unpleasant and potentially harmful it is to step in dog mess, or see it around parks, pavements or play areas. Responsible dog owners know this as much as anyone else.

“We’re looking for volunteers to be the eyes and ears of Garforth and to help us. The more that people report owners letting their dogs foul, the more people face being fined or prosecuted and the more people will realise Garforth won’t put up with this anymore.”

Elvira Meucci-Lyons, Head of Education & Community for Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, said:

“With the dog population growing on an almost daily basis, the problem with dog fouling is also on the rise. Picking up after your four legged friend is one of the simple rules of responsible dog ownership. We want people to be able to enjoy clean public areas all year round and if everyone remembers the importance of picking after their dog we can make a big difference.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can ring 0113 2475567 or email GarforthDogWatch@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

Dogs Trust has more advice about dog fouling at http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/d/dogfouling/

For media enquiries please contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Tel: 0113 3950244.

Fax: 0113 247 4736