Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is urging the public to report irresponsible dog owners to its environmental health service.
It was responding to concerns raised by a Whiteabbey resident, who told the Newtownabbey times: “Yesterday (Friday) afternoon my grandson, four years old, was at the front of our house, outside the fence, when he quickly picked something from the ground and enquired: what’s this? It turned out to be a large piece of dog dirt, the child thought it was chocolate.
“Some very inconsiderate individual walked passed my home under cover of darkness and watched their dog leave that mess. I hope that individual reads this and realises with disgust what he/she was responsible for. The Princes Crescent and Drive area is awash with dog fouling, and I have yet to hear of a single prosecution.”
In response, council said over the past six months it has received seven complaints directly from members of the public in relation to dog fouling in the Whiteabbey area, including two from Princes Crescent residents.
“In response to all complaints, our enforcement officers immediately refer the area to the council’s cleansing team for cleaning, and follow up by putting in place high visibility patrols in the area concerned. This twin track approach normally means residents see an immediate improvement. Enforcement officers appreciate that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, and clean up after their dogs, however it only takes a small minority to cause such a negative impact for residents.
“We currently carry out proactive patrols across the borough, both in relation to littering and dog fouling, however where issues are ongoing in a specific street, we can concentrate patrols in these areas, both during the daytime and evening as required. Any dog walkers failing to remove their dogs foul will be issued with a Fixed Penalty fine of £80.
“In relation to this specific incident, officers will ensure that a leaflet drop is carried out in the Princes Crescent vicinity, and would encourage all residents to report offenders directly to us on T. 028 9034 0160.”