Time to call foul on dog dirt

Marion with her dogs
Marion with her dogs

Cuparians are being urged to call foul on irresponsible dog walkers who don’t pick up after their pets amid concerns that the problem is getting out of control.

Animal lover Marion MacDonald, who has adopted two dogs from Thailand, is so incensed by the state of the town’s streets and parks that she’s calling for Fife Council to take action.

“Someone has to do something about this,” said Marion.

“I want to see the dog wardens re-instated as it’s just getting worse and worse.

“I took my young grandson to play rugby at the Wetlands playing fields and was disgusted at the amount of dog dirt there.

“The walks along the River Eden are absolutely covered in it and the problem is made worse by the autumn leaves.

“You often don’t know it’s there until you’ve stepped in it or wheeled a buggy through it.

“It’s so sad that all the walks in Cupar are bein g spoiled for people - including dog walkers themselves.

“Most dog walkers are responsible and pick up after their pets but there are an irresponsible few who give us a bad name.

“There’s no excuse for not picking up after your dog - you can get a big bag of nappy sacks for under £1.”

However, Fife Council’s service manager Elaine Devine explained that there was still one dog warden covering east Fife but they did not have responsibility for catching the offending owners.

Instead it was the job of two environmental enforcement officers in the area, who are also responsible for issuing fixed penalty notices for littering and fly-tipping.

“This leaves the dog warden to focus on antisocial dog behaviour while the officers deal with irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets,” she said.

“It’s really important that the community come forward with details of offenders. We can serve fixed penalty notices based on the evidence provided by a reliable witness - the offence does not need to be witnessed by a council officer.

“Even if a witness is not willing to come forward with a statement, information that helps us to identify an offender and the best time to catch them walking their dog in the park would be very useful.

“The officers could spend two hours in a park and not see any offence being committed, only for the offending dog owner to turn up 10 minutes after they have left.”

Ms Devine added: “Not cleaning up after your dog is an offence in terms of the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 and you could be liable to a fixed penalty notice.

“We encourage all dog walkers in Fife to ‘Grab it, Bag it and Bin it’. As long as the dog waste is suitably bagged it can go in any bin.

“Please help us tackle dog fouling by reporting instances to the Council on 03451 55 00 22.”