irresponsible pet owners who allow their dogs to foul public pavements and parks should not be allowed to get away with it.
That’s according to Fife Council which has pledged to tackle the problem with fixed penalty notices and even court action if necessary.
Over the winter period dog fouling has become the scourge of the streets, with many owners failing to pick up after their pets – especially when the nights are darker or weather is bad.
However, Graeme Anderson, Fife Council’s technical officer in dog control, said it was time for the public to fight back.
On Monday, the Fife Herald launched an online Facebook poll asking readers for their views on dog fouling – and we were innundated with responses from the community, including many comments from dog owners angered that others don’t pick up their pets’ mess.
Some of the areas of Cupar highlighted as being particularly bad were the town centre area, Kinloss Crescent, Sandylands Road, Castlehill Primary School grounds, Tarvit Ponds and the River Eden walkway, as well as several locations in Lady-bank, Ceres, and Auchtermuchty amongst others.
There were also reports of dog mess being found in enclosed children’s playparks and on private driveways across the area.
However, Mr Anderson said the council was extremely supportive of the public’s efforts to report offenders and said every effort would be made by dog wardens to follow up each report of fouling.
He said: “We take dog fouling very seriously and work with the police to combat it.
“It’s done by people who are too lazy to pick up after their pet and don’t care that it has a disgusting impact on our streets.
“Fife is a beautiful place to live and people will be taken to task if they don’t act responsibly.
“In this financial year we issued 60 fixed penalty notices and four people have had their wages and benefits taken from them after being convicted of allowing their dog to foul the streets.
“£40 fixed penalty notices are issued to anyone seen letting their pet foul.
“This goes up to £60 if it’s not paid within 28 days and then we send sheriffs officers out to reclaim the money.”
Mr Anderson went on to say that while it is difficult for dog wardens to catch people in the act, people who see dog fouling taking place should make a note of all details contributing to the offence including a time, date and description and call the council’s environmental services team.
“Sometimes it is difficult to catch someone, but we will endeavour to do so if we have the right information – especially if they are a repeat offender,” he said.
“We can also put up more notices and more bins if the public request them.
“However, wooded areas like Tarvit Ponds are more difficult to manage as cleansing services do not carry out operations there.”
Anyone with concerns over dog fouling in their area should call 08451 550022.