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Eight Carlisle areas to be targeted by dog squad revealed

A hit squad of wardens is cleaning up Carlisle’s streets after it was revealed 560 complaints were made about dog fouling and more than 400 strays seized.

Eight problem areas have been highlighted across the city and the team – retrained parking attendants and green spaces officers – is being sent out this month.

A new report on the situation has been published and is to be discussed by the council executive tomorrow.

It reveals eight areas that have been identified as problems which are now the key priorities.

They are: Stanwix, Raffles, old and new Harraby, Currock, St Aidans, Upperby and Botcherby.

The report by the environmental health service revealed 422 canines were picked up between last April and March 15 this year – up slightly on the previous year.

It said stray dogs could be one of the causes of dog fouling, which has been highlighted as a problem in the city.

So far this financial year, 562 people have complained about it.

Patricia Bell-Atkin, of Wetheral Animal Refuge, was not surprised to hear of the number of stray dogs being found.

“Not all of them will be genuine strays – some may have just escaped from home for a short time – but we see about that number of dogs,” she said.

“Around 60 per cent will be genuine and some can take up to two years to rehome.”

Ms Bell-Atkin said they had 34 dogs in the refuge today and that represented a typical day.

Numbers rise at Christmas and during the holidays when people go off on holiday and don’t make arrangements for their pets to be looked after, she said.

“It’s seasonal but there is a steady influx of dogs,” she added.“It goes up and down.”

Councillors joined forces earlier this year to double council spending on fouling when Labour and Independent councillors pushed through an amendment to the council’s budget to increase the amount spent from £70,000 to £155,000.

Labour group leader Joe Hendry said they were “very unhappy” with the state of the streets.

“It’s an issue that comes up time and again and we go knocking on doors,” he said.

Despite the high number of complaints, just 11 fixed penalty tickets were issued to dog owners – down on the 45 issued in the previous 12 months when complaints were lower, at 467.

Ray Bloxham, spokesman for environmental issues, has defended his administration’s record.

He said the city was looking much better.

“But however much we spend on litter picking and cleaning up dog mess, it doesn’t stop people throwing it down,” he said.

“We have to concentrate on education, working with schools, community groups and others to be more vigilant.”

The council is spending the extra £85,000 from its budget on a hit squad to target areas where the problem is particularly bad.

A three-strong team will target ‘environmental crime’ such as dog fouling, littering, graffiti and fly tipping.

And 24 parking attendants, environmental health and green spaces officers were retrained last month to issue fixed-penalty notices alongside their other duties.

Members of the executive group will meet tomorrow to note the report, which outlines the Dog Fouling Action Plan 2012/13.

Have your say

Why has Denton Holme been omitted from this??
Having lived there for almost 20 years and walked my dog round the area for 13 years I find it amazing that it has not been included as the area is covered with the stuff!!

The council should re-employ someone to walk round and fine people... They'd pay for themselves in a month!!

Posted by K Dalton on 26 April 2012 at 15:33

i have no solution to the 'where should dogs poop' debate but i am incresingly incenced by lanes and their entrances being fouled, almost every corner and stretch of road in belah has dog excrement on it im sorry but in this fine day and age i shouldnt have to walk my kids to school dodging what is ultimately the owners responsibility if my kids left live feaces in the street there would b uproar or if i over turned their nappies into the street but if its a dog its ok? i think not, it is completely unsanitary. and the law is completely pointless unless it can be enforced so while theres murderers on the streets lets leave the police etc actually doing their job while you put a nappy on your dogs backside!

Posted by belah resident on 25 April 2012 at 23:56

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