After becoming fed up with treading in dog dirt on their way to school, pupils at Ysgol Tregarth decided to design their own posters to highlight the problem.
These posters will now form part of an awareness campaign in their community aimed at targeting the minority of dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets.
Assisting the kids with transferring the posters onto hardback signs was Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns Officer, Jonathan Neale, who also visited the school to talk to the children about the health risks associated with dog mess. He also distributed free dog waste bags for the children to take home to give out in the community.
Jonathan Neale said: “The children have produced some really striking images that grab the attention straight away, and through their creativity it is hoped that they can get the message across to those who continue to ignore the law. Dog mess also carries a real health risk, especially to children, so their message is important and very relevant.”
Councillor John Wynn Jones, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “The children have to be commended for their initiative, effort and creativity. They have produced powerful images that get the message across in no uncertain terms. Tidy Towns has achieved many local environmental projects in Gwynedd, but this one stands out for its power to make a difference.”
Local Gwynedd Councillor Gwen Griffith added: “We have a problem with dog fouling in some parts of Tregarth and Mynydd Llandygai. These posters are really colourful and cleverly done, so let’s hope those responsible take note. There is no excuse for leaving dog mess in public places and i shall be keeping an eye on the situation in the coming weeks to see if the situation improves.”
Dog Fouling and ‘Toxocariasis’
One of the most important reasons why owners should stop their dogs from fouling on public land is because of the parasites which can be harmful to people, especially children. Toxocariasis is a disease caused when the eggs of toxocara worms are transferred from dogs to people through infected dog mess or soil and can lead to illness and even blindness.
It is a criminal offence not to clear up if a dog under your control has fouled in any public place. Offenders are liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty. Failure to pay the fine could lead to a court summons and a fine of up to £1,000.
What can you do?
If you’re a dog owner make sure you always carry plenty of poop-scoop bags with you when you walk your dog. Bagged dog mess can be put in any public bin or taken home and disposed of responsibly. To request a free dog-poop bag dispenser, contact Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns Officer on 01766 771000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Name and Shame
The public can help by reporting those responsible by contacting Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team confidentially on 01766 771000, or by visiting Gwynedd Council’s Report a Problem webpage.
Gwynedd’s Tidy Towns initiative is funded by Welsh Government.