Dog mess pleas are 'ignored' in Witheridge
A YOUNG mum says parents in Witheridge are growing frustrated with lazy dog owners who do not clear up after their pets.
Kayleigh Boyles, 25, from Witheridge, claims the mess is blighting pavements – and play parks – throughout the community and says enough is enough.
Notices have been published in the Witheridge Scene, the parish magazine, to remind owners to clear up after their pets.
But the polite requests have apparently been poo-pooed.
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Mrs Bowles said: "This seems to have been ignored. I have a two-year-old and an eight-week-old and I am sick to death of having to scrape poo off my son's shoes and pushchair wheels, as are many other parents.
"It isn't just localised to Witheridge, it's everywhere, but it seems like it has been going on forever – it's always been an issue.
"People let their dogs defecate in play areas and in the street. People need to be reminded of the health risks. There are a lot of mums who are disgusted by it because there is no need, it's not very nice and if people don't want to clear up after their dog, then they shouldn't have one," added Mrs Bowles, who lives at North Street.
Mrs Bowles is concerned of the health risks dog faeces can pose to people, especially children, who can be blinded by the bacteria it contains. Toxocara Canis, a roundworm which lives harmlessly in dogs, presents a severe danger to humans. A dog can pass 15,000 eggs in just one gram of faeces which can cause fever, illness and blindness.
North Devon Council, which is responsible for services in Witheridge, said people must clear up after their dogs on any public land, including car parks, grass verges, sport and recreational grounds, parks, river walks, pavements and footpaths, gutters and beaches.
A spokesman for the council said: "Quite apart for being unpleasant, dog faeces can present a serious health hazard particularly to young children.
"The person in charge of a dog, whether they are the owner or not, must by law clean up after it.
"When walking a dog always carry a poop scoop or a plastic bag then place any faeces in a dog-waste bin or take them home.
"It is an offence not to clean up, where the law applies, and is punishable by a fine."