Pensioner plots dog muck trail

Dog fouling signs on the sea front at Roker, Sunderland
Dog fouling signs on the sea front at Roker, Sunderland
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SUNDERLAND’S seafront is top of the plops.

Visitors are being forced to dodge piles of dog dirt littered along the coast, prompting one Wearsider to take action.

Tired of being met by muck, grandad Ron Bell photographed different dog poos he encountered on his walk from Roker to Whitburn.

The 68-year-old from Oxclose, Washington, who’s been visiting the coast for more than 40 years, plotted more than 40 cases of illegal fouling on the route - in just one day.

The grandad of five said: “Millions of pounds is being spent on the seafront to attract people to Sunderland yet people are just allowing their dogs to poo on the street and beach and leaving it.

“I took my granddaughter down there and she went through some on her skates. It was disgusting, we had to take them home and clean them.

“They are just left there by people.”

Visitors to the coast are now urging dog owners to clean up after their pets to keep the city landmark an enjoyable place to visit.

George Howe, councillor for Fulwell ward, said: “The issue of dog fouling is one that’s been raised a number of times with me. At a recent Neighbourhood Watch Meeting, a resident highlighted that Seaburn Recreation Park is a particular problem. People are letting their dogs go and are not picking up after them.

“Mere Knolls Road at its junction with Sea Road is a problem, as well as all along the coast.

“I have contacted Sunderland City Council in the past who’ve said they will increase their patrols but it’s a big job for them.”

He added: “Dog owners are acting irresponsibly and are not thinking about their municipal duties.”

Ron also said more could be done by dog owners to keep their animals under control.

He said: “People are going to think I’m against dogs, which I’m not. But the beach can be quite intimidating for young children and people who don’t like dogs when there are these packs running around.”

James Blackburn, portfolio holder for attractive and inclusive city, said: “Sunderland City Council takes environment quality very seriously and is committed to providing a cleaner and greener environment for residents, businesses and visitors to the city.

“Our Environmental Enforcement Officers undertake regular patrols in all areas to tackle dog fouling issues and liaise with resident and businesses to ensure that they are in the right place at the right time.

“Where dog handlers fail in their responsibility to remove their animal’s waste, Sunderland City Council is prepared to take formal action and consider prosecution in the Magistrate Court for the offence, which if proven guilty could result in a fine of up to £1,000. Alternatively, offenders may be offered the opportunity to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50.”

He added: “We would encourage all dog handlers to carry an appropriate bag to clean up after their dog has fouled and place the bag in a suitable dog or litter bin, or take the bag home and dispose of the waste in their wheelied bins.

“If you have any information regarding a dog fouler, please contact us in confidence on the Neighbourhood Helpline, on 0300 1000 101.”

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