Dirty dog walkers to respect South Ayrshire or face a fine

The launch of the campaign at Prestwick
The launch of the campaign at Prestwick

Dog walkers and their four-legged friends joined forces with South Ayrshire Councillors today (Wednesday 4 September) to encourage dog walkers to pick up after their pets and respect South Ayrshire – or face a £40 penalty.

Pooches from Prestwick and District Dog Training Club – and their owners – took to Prestwick beach to support the Council’s respect South Ayrshire campaign, which aims to tackle dog fouling and encourage responsible dog ownership through seven key messages:

Remember to bag it and bin it

Ensure you have enough dog waste bags with you

Stop your dog from alarming people and other dogs

Please obey signage in appropriate areas

Ensure your dog is regularly wormed

Chip your dog

Tag your dog.

The respect South Ayrshire campaign features images of people in close proximity to dog mess in public places and promotes specific messages about the dangers of dog mess: a toddler on the beach about to pick up dog mess (‘Pick it up, or he will . . .); a group of young people playing with a football that’s rolled through dog mess (‘Don’t foul up our open spaces . . .); and a sunbather about to lie in the grass where dog mess has been left (‘Don’t let dog poo lie . . . ).

Each image is then supported with the same consistent message that offenders could face a £40 fixed penalty notice.

The respect South Ayrshire messages will appear on signage, banners, notices and adverts throughout South Ayrshire.

Councillor John McDowall, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment, explained: “Dog fouling is still one of the biggest sources of complaints to the Council and our respect South Ayrshire campaign is all about making sure people know they are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs – or there will be a price to pay.

“We’re lucky enough to live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and we hope our respect campaign will keep it looking that way. But dog mess is not just unsightly – it can also carry a host of diseases that can be harmful to both humans and animals, causing blindness, food poisoning, or even death.

“We simply won’t tolerate it, so our message to residents and visitors alike is: please respect South Ayrshire.”

As well as promoting the respect South Ayrshire message, the Council will also be tackling those who don’t pick up after their dogs and giving them their own mess to clean up – by issuing a £40 fixed penalty notice.

Councillor McDowall continued: “We know most dog walkers are responsible but there’s no excuse these days for not picking up after your dog as everyone should know to bag their dogs’ mess and bin it in any black litter bins or red dog bins, or back at home in their green domestic bin. And our new enforcement team will be on the look out – and taking action against – those dog walkers who fail to respect South Ayrshire.”

Sandra Van Heddegem from Prestwick and District Dog Training Club, added: “It’s great the Council is getting tough on those who give dog walkers a bad name and leave our streets in a real mess.

“We fully support the respect South Ayrshire campaign and its messages as that’s what our club is all about – responsible dog ownership. We take that very seriously and we teach people to not only look after dog, but to be responsible at all times – for example, we ensure our members have poo bags with them at all times. Anything to help alleviate the problem of dog fouling is very welcome, so we’ll definitely be doing our bit to respect South Ayrshire.”

Also supporting the campaign are a number of veterinary practices across South Ayrshire who have come on board, in conjunction with the Dog’s Trust, as respect partnership vets to offer free – or reduced cost – dog chipping services until Friday 4 October 2013.

Chips are issued on a first come, first served basis with some practices offering additional promotions. The respect partnership vets – who should be contacted for further information on their offers – are:

Alan Jeans Vets Surgery, Wesley Rd, Girvan, KA26 9DB – 01465 714418

Collier and Brock, 153 Whitletts Rd, Ayr KA8 0JG – 01292 611838

Collier and Brock, 70 Portland St, Troon, KA10 6QU – 01292 311988

Companion Care Vets Surgery, Unit 3, Allison St Retail Park, Ayr, KA8 8HD – 01292 430530

Corner Vets Centre, 39 Bridge St, Girvan, KA26 9HH – 01465 712340

Dalblair Vets Surgery, 52/54 Dalblair Rd, Ayr, KA7 1UQ – 01292 263744

Robertson and Orr Vets, 17 Barns Rd, Maybole, KA19 7EN – 01655 883277

Councillor McDowall concluded: “We all have a part in play in ensuring we respect South Ayrshire and we’re indebted to the Dog’s Trust, our respect partnership vets and Prestwick and District Dog Training Club for their support. I hope our campaign encourages others to do the same, and we all benefit from the difference this makes within our communities.”

For further information on how to respect South Ayrshire, pick up a copy of the respect South Ayrshire Dog Walkers Guide at respect partnership vets, the Council’s Customer Service Centres in Ayr, Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon, or your nearest Council office.

Local businesses and residents can also show their support by picking up a respect South Ayrshire window sticker from our customer service centres or a respect partnership vet..

For further information, visit www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/respect.