Plan to spray paint dog poo bright pink to shame careless owners in region

Don Stewart MBE.
Don Stewart MBE.

Dog poo blighting the streets of Epworth is to be spray painted bright pink in a bid to shame owners who let their pets go in the street and to prevent pedestrians from stepping in the smelly mess.

Epworth Town Council approved plans to buy eight spray cans and a team of councillors will take to the streets over the coming weeks to use the paint to highlight areas of dog mess.

The move comes after figures showed a rise in recent years in complaints about dog fouling across the Isle of Axholme with 21 people raising the issue in 2014/15 compared to 17 the previous year.

Councillor Don Stewart MBE, aged 76, said there was a lot of support for the scheme and the plans were passed unanimously at an environment committee meeting of the town council in March.

He added: "This has been used effectively in other areas so we thought we would give it a trial run.

"The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and put the mess in a plastic bag and into one of the dog bins.

"But it will serve as a reminder for the people who might forget from time to time. I don't think Epworth is any better or worse than other places for dog mess, but you do see it and it is not nice.

"For the cost of £30 or £40 for a few cans of the paint we hope it will be effective in reducing the amount of dog mess on the streets."

He added there are many routes popular with dog walkers that lead towards scenic countryside surrounding Epworth and the spray paint patrols would likely be focused in these areas.

Figures obtained through a freedom of information request from North Lincolnshire Council two years ago showed in 2014-15 there were eight complaints about dog fouling from Crowle, four from Belton, two from Epworth, two from Owston Ferry, one from Keadby, one from West Butterwick, two from Haxey and one from Graizelound.

The previous year saw six complaints from Epworth, four from Keadby, three from Crowle, one from West Butterwick, one from Haxey, one from Owston Ferry and one from Belton.

Epworth dog grooming business owner Amber Ross said at the time that she was concerned about the problem of dogs fouling the streets and parks in the Isle.

She said: "I have dogs, and I find on every single route I take walking them in Epworth, there is poo."

North Lincolnshire Council introduced a 'fouling of land by dogs order' in September 2008 which means that owners who do not dispose of their dog's mess face an £80 fine.

The order states: "If a dog defecates at any time on land to which this order applies and a person who is in charge of the dog at that time fails to remove the faeces from the land immediately, that person shall be guilty of an offence unless they have a reasonable excuse for failing to do so, or the owner, occupier or other person or authority having control of the land has consented (generally or specifically) to them failing to do so."