A new pilot scheme aimed at combating dog fouling could be rolled out across the whole borough.
But that will depend how it goes down in the Portadown, Craigavon and Lurgan areas, where it is being trialled.
Volunteers are being sought to ‘sign up and make a difference together’.
The Green Dog Walkers (GDW) wants to encourage people to get involved and take a pledge to clean up after their dogs – as well as acting as a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to do the same.
Those who sign up to the scheme will receive a doggie welcome pack which contains the Green Dog Walkers® armband, dog bone shaped bag dispenser, doggie bags and clip on hand sanitiser.
They then take the pledge to say they will wear the armband when walking their dog to remind people to clean up after their pooch, as well as carrying extra doggie bags and be happy to share these bags with dog walkers who need them.
The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Darryn Causby helped launch the scheme.
“The Green Dog Walkers scheme therefore is a great way to raise awareness and change attitudes and we hope that it will help us see a reduction in dog fouling on our streets and in our parks.
“I would really encourage people to sign up and get involved to help us to stamp out dog fouling in a non-confrontational way. This is an issue high on our priority list as well as the priority list of our residents and I look forward to seeing people taking part and becoming ambassadors for the scheme.”
Green Dog Walkers® is designed to be a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling and at no time when wearing the armband will volunteers confront other dog walkers about dog fouling.
If you see someone wearing the Green Dog Walkers® armband it means they have ‘Taken the Pledge’ and carry extra doggie bags and will distribute them to other dog walkers if asked.
Council takes a serious approach to all dog fouling offences and anyone detected not cleaning up after their dog can receive a £80 Fixed Penalty Fine on the spot or by post. Conviction in court, for failing to pay the fine for this offence, carries a criminal record and a penalty up to a maximum of £1000.
Dog fouling can be reported by calling the Council on 028 3831 2553 or by clicking on www.craigavondogfouling.com and completing a confidential witness statement.
GDW is being piloted initially in the Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown areas of the borough.
Once the scheme is up and running the response and numbers registered will be monitored and it is hoped this will be replicated across the new council area in the near future.
For more information on the scheme and to sign the pledge please contact Pamela on 028 3831 2534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture: Lord Mayor Darryn Causby, with Shane Devlin and Millie the Miniature Schnauzer.
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