Do you want to see a reduction in dog fouling on pavements and open spaces around Tendring?
If so, you can help in the fight to tackle those owners who do not clear up after their pets.
Tendring District Council (TDC) will give fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to irresponsible owners – and prosecute where it has the evidence to do so.
The FPN is currently £50 and if taken to court owners can be a fine of up to £1,000.
But with two dog wardens to cover the entire District of 130 squares miles they cannot be everywhere.
The wardens are also responsible for a whole host of other jobs such as noisy dogs, stray dogs, and providing advice to the public. They also provide a micro-chipping service at £15 per animal.
Rick Watt, Senior Dog Warden, said that along with colleague Allen East, they will apprehend anyone they see not cleaning up after their pet.
“However, it is unlikely that owners will act in this way if we are around and it is impossible for us to be in more than one place at a time,” he said.
“From our experience the public are very much against dog fouling and the problems it causes and they could help by reporting incidents to us with the information we need to follow it up.”
Residents do not have to tackle the dog owner themselves but provide the details such as the time, the place, a description of the person and dog, and a name or car registration number if they have one.
They also have to be prepared to give evidence should the matter eventually go before the courts.
In the past ten months the Council has prosecuted one owner, has two more cases under consideration and has dished out seven fixed penalty notices.
Lynda McWilliams, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said she fully backed the efforts of the wardens but felt they could deal with more offenders if they had more help from the public.
“Fortunately most owners are very responsible and clear-up after their dogs but there are others who do not and let us down,” she said.
“As a dog owner I am very much in favour of irresponsible owners being taken to task on this issue and made to change their habits by hitting them where it hurts most – in the pocket.”
Cllr McWilliams added that there had been letters in the local media about dog fouling in recent weeks and residents complaining about the mess it causes and the affect on our environment.
“We all have a part to play in helping to keep our areas cleaner and by reporting incidents it will assist the Council to bring irresponsible dog owners to book,” she said.
“It’s very much a case of helping us to help you!”