Across East Ayrshire dog fouling is an issue that affects every community and action is being taken to tackle irresponsible dog owners.
Tougher penalties have been introduced for those irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their dogs. Fixed penalties have increased from £40 to £80 across Scotland.
The Corporate Enforcement Unit (CEU) is out carrying out enforcement initiatives in all of our towns and villages, issuing fines to those caught not picking up after their dogs.
The Outdoor Amenities team is out picking up dog waste in parks and open spaces, doing the job that some dog owners are just not willing to do themselves.
The Council ensures that free dog waste bags are available from the Community Centre in Mauchline, John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock; Rothesay House, Cumnock; Dalmellington Area Centre, Galston customer service centre and Stewarton Area Centre.
And local dog owners are supporting these activities by talking about the importance of being a responsible dog owner.
Libby and Hannah MacMillan and their 6 month old Airedale puppy Izzy joined Councillor Tom Cook, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities at Burngrange Lane near to Mauchline Primary School to discuss the problems they have experienced with irresponsible dog owners.
Libby MacMillan, Chair of the Community Association said: “As a childminder I walk to school through Burngrange Lane on a daily basis so I know just how bad it can be. On one occasion one of my children slipped and was completely covered head to toe in dog waste. Not only was this disgusting and upsetting for the child but it could also have been hazardous to the child’s health.
“I feel there is absolutely no excuse not to pick up after your dog. There are free dog waste bags available from the Community Centre. There are three bins on Burngrange Lane alone and there are signs up all over the village asking people to pick up after their dogs.
“Dog fouling is a problem and it just isn’t acceptable. We all have a responsibility to keep our village clean and tidy.”
Councillor Tom Cook said: “I was very pleased to meet up with Libby, Hannah and Izzy to talk about the problem of dog fouling.
“The vast majority of people are in agreement on this issue. It isn’t acceptable not to pick up after your dog.
“We are doing everything we can, from enforcement activity to picking up dog waste to providing free dog waste bags; what we need now is for all dog owners to behave responsibly.
“Until that day, the CEU will continue working with the local community to tackle irresponsible dog owners.
“I would ask though that you don’t approach irresponsible dog owners yourself. Gather as much information as you can, especially if it is someone you see on a regular basis. Report them to the CEU on 01563 553520 and they will take enforcement action against the individual.”