Tougher penalties are coming for irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their dogs.
Fixed penalties are being increased from £40 to £80 from 1 April across Scotland and responsible dog owners are backing the changes.
Councillor Tom Cook, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities said: “I have been talking to dog owners and the vast majority support the fixed penalty being raised.
“There is a real sense that people have had enough of irresponsible dog owners who refuse to clean up after their dogs. The Council can only do so much. We provide free dog waste bags, all Council bins can take wrapped dog waste and dog waste can be placed in your residual bin at home.
“Only by dog owners acting responsibly can we ensure that our paths and green areas are dog waste free.
“The Corporate Enforcement Unit will continue to carry out enforcement activity and will fine people who are caught not clearing up after their dog. The CEU work with the public gathering information about offenders and will take enforcement action against offenders.”
Maureen Dykes and two year old Staffie SJ joined Cllr Cook and local member Councillor Elena Whitham at Jamieson Park in Newmilns to talk about the importance of being a responsible dog owner. She said: “If you don’t pick up after your dog, you are affecting your own community. You hear so many people talking about their kids bringing dog waste into their house on their shoes after playing at the park. Or people out with prams and the wheels getting covered in dog waste.
“It just isn’t acceptable. As a dog owner you have a responsibility to clear up after your dog. There are health dangers for children from dog waste and dog owners have to think about the consequences of not acting responsibly.”
Cllr Whitham said: “Since being elected last October, I have been contacted by countless people fed up with incidences of dog fouling. I am a dog owner myself and it only takes seconds to clean up after my Jack Russell, Mojo.
“We need a real community effort to get the message out loud and clear. It is never ok to walk away from your dog’s waste. Take a moment to bag it and bin it.”