Painted paw prints to tackle dog fouling in Fenland

Bin there, seen that: Barry Saunders and Louis, his Staffordshire bull terrier
Bin there, seen that: Barry Saunders and Louis, his Staffordshire bull terrier
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Bright yellow paw prints will be painted on paths across Fenland in a bid to encourage ‘selfish’ owners to pick up their dog mess.

Fenland District Council receives numerous complaints about dog mess in the area and there will be a six-month campaign in fouling hotspots in a bid to curb the problem.

Yellow paw and footprints are being spray-painted in special biodegradable paint along pavements leading to bins, which will carry matching stickers.

Cllr Peter Murphy, cabinet member for the environment, launched the new initiative on June 9 in Furrowfields, Chatteris – one of the district’s worst affected areas for the problem.

Cllr Murphy said: “Dog mess is one of the things that we get most complaints about. People who fail to pick it up are selfish and anti-social.

“We do have the power to fine offenders and use it where we can but, for obvious reasons, catching them in the act is difficult.

“So it’s more a question of educating people and finding ways to encourage them to behave responsibly.

“What we’re saying is ‘bag it and bin it’. This reinforces that message.”

The prints, which will fade in six to eight weeks, will be appearing in other parts of Chatteris, March’s West End Park and Bath Road in Wisbech.

Other locations will be chosen on the basis of feedback from town and parish councils, along with the police and The Landscape Group, and the public.

The council had previously run a campaign in which piles of dog mess were spray painted to highlight them.

Extra support in tackling dog fouling is being sought from a local primary school that has raised concerns about messes on the school run.

Pupils of Alderman Jacobs in Whittlesey are being asked to design a poster to promote the national “Big Scoop” campaign which has been launched by the Dogs Trust.

The council’s Street Scene officers have the power to issue £75 fixed penalty notices to anyone who fails to pick up their dog’s mess, allows it to be in a gated children’s play area or refuses to put their pet on a lead when requested.

The council is also supporting the Government’s move to make it compulsory to have all dogs microchipped from 2016.