Dog fouling complaints rise in the Isle of Axholme

Amber Ross is angry with dog owners who just leave their dog mess about the place
Amber Ross is angry with dog owners who just leave their dog mess about the place

The Isle of Axholme has seen a rise in complaints over dogs fouling its village streets, figures obtained by the Bells reveal - but no one has been fined.

Figures obtained from a freedom of information request show that 21 people complained about the issue in 2014-15, compared to 17 the previous year, yet not a single fine was issued.

And Crowle was the worst hotspot for the problem.

In 2013-14, there were 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,

But in 2014-15, there were eight from Crowle, four complaints from Belton, two from Epworth, two from Owston Ferry, one from Keadby, one from West Butterwick, two from Haxey, and one from Graizelound.

Former Crowle Town Council chairman Ron Stewart, a member of the Kennel Club and a dog owner himself, said he thought there was a problem with dog owners failing to clear up after their pets in the town.

He said: “There is a big problem with people failing to clean up after their dogs, and there is also a problem with people who put it in bag, and then just throw it into the road.

“But the problem is, unless someone witnesses the offence, there is nothing that can be done.

“There is a problem in Crowle and people have complained about it for two or three years. A figure of eight complaints for the last year is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is a dog litter bin near the gates of St Oswald’s Church, and I’ve seen bags just thrown onto the road just a few yards from it.

“I would urge people to do the right think and clear up. It only takes a few seconds.”

Epworth dog grooming business owner Amber Ross said she was also concerned about the problem of dogs fouling the streets and parks in the Isle, and said it was an issue in the town.

Amber, of Market Place. I have dogs, and I find on every single route I take walking them in Epworth, there is poo. You imagine it is the same type of person, but I don’t think you can profile them. I think there are people who quite wilfully do this.

“I think the only way to deal with it is by changing people’s attitudes. I feel angry when I see dog poo when I am out taking my dogs for a walk because I dno’t want anyone thinking it is me and my dogs causing this sort of problem.

“I used to pick it up if I saw it in the street, but I don’t now because there is just too much out there. There is no excuse. You wouldn’t leave you house without a key, and you shouldn’t leave your house with a dog without a bag.

“These people are bringing all dog owners into disrepute.”

A North Lincolnshire Council spokeswoman said: “There is not a significant problem with dog fouling in the Isle of Axholme. The council has received just 38 reports about the existence of dog mess in the last two years. This is relatively low compared to other parts of North Lincolnshire which have a higher dog population.

“We cannot prosecute unless a council officer physically sees someone not clearing up after their dog or without local intelligence from residents as to who, where and when. Targeted patrols are undertaken if we have local intelligence; this will allow us to deploy our resources effectively.

“Every responsible dog owner should clear up their dog’s mess. The vast majority of owners are responsible and do clean up after their pets. It is a small minority of people that do not.

“If you witness an owner not clearing up their dog’s mess, please report it to us. It is easy to report – you can do this online at www.northlincs,gov.uk or call 01724 297000.”