Letter: ‘Please pick up after your dog’

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Alan Leach’s plea on behalf of Buckingham Rugby Club with regard to dog fouling (Buckingham & Winslow Advertiser, Friday September 14) has spurred me in to writing a letter which I have been intending to do for many months.

I fully endorse everything Mr Leach says about the large increase in incidents of dog fouling. However, it is not just the rugby club grounds which are experiencing a major increase in this problem – it is the whole area of Maids Moreton in general.

Despite the additional dog mess bins which have been put up at the end of the lane running alongside the rugby club and an additional bin in Maids Moreton (in the grass lane which leads to the fields behind The Pightle) there are still increasing amounts of dog mess left where people regularly walk - on pavements and grass verges and in rural lanes and gutters.

I am a local dog owner who regularly walks both my dogs in the Maids Moreton area including across the rugby club grounds.

My dogs are always on leads and I not only ‘pick up’ after my own dogs but have frequently ‘picked up other piles’ left by irresponsible dog owners (especially in the rugby club grounds).

The increase in dog fouling is not, however, a recent problem. During the snowy spell earlier in the year the amount of dog mess left on the rugby club grounds was very noticeable and totally inexcusable as it was so easily seen!

Do these irresponsible dog owners not realise what a health hazard dog mess is - especially to children?

Dog faeces is also harmful to livestock such as sheep therefore owners should pick up after their dogs in fields too - I suspect the majority of people are not aware of this. The Kennel Club’s view is that all dog faeces should be picked up from wherever the dog deposits it with just two exceptions which are (I believe) boggy/marshy ground and densely forested areas which are deemed to be inaccessible for humans to safely pick up from – neither of which are to be found in the Buckingham area.

We have an excellent, local dog trainer who, with permission from the local council, runs dog classes in Bourton Meadow Park. Her aim is to not only train dogs in how to behave with other dogs/people in public places (for which there is a definite need in view of the many incidents of dog aggression in the park) but also to promote all-round responsible dog ownership – which includes dog fouling. Yet the increase in dog excrement is also more noticeable in the park than ever before and the incidents of dog aggression do not seem to be diminishing either!

So who are these irresponsible dog owners who give those of us who do act responsibly in clearing up after our dogs such a bad name? Are they people who just let their dog off the lead to exercise itself and so they have no idea where their dog fouls? Or are they people who really cannot be bothered to do their duty, who care nothing for and certainly do not appreciate how lucky they are to live in this lovely, rural community?

It is a known fact that young people/children do not like the indignity of having to pick up dog mess but this is all part of owning and being responsible for a dog. So, parents – if your child exercises the dog alone – please ensure that he or she goes out ‘armed’ with the necessary poo-bag to clean up after the dog and also instil into your child that clearing up the dog’s ‘business’ is an unpleasant necessity.

It would be interesting to know just how many people in the local area have actually been fined for not picking up after their dogs - not many I suspect. How many of us (in this day and age of aggressive behaviour) would have the ‘guts’ to actually challenge someone who is seen leaving dog mess behind? I have – just the once – but felt very vulnerable having done so.

Come on all you dog owners, do the decent thing, clean up after your dogs.

Name and address supplied

See this week’s Advertiser and Review for more letters from our readers.

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