Wardens are set to patrol areas identified as dog fouling hotspots with their own dogs to crack down on those who fail to pick up after their pet.
To highlight the constant problem of dog fouling, wardens from Kettering Council will be making regular patrols in previously identified hot spot areas accompanied by their own dogs.
The dogs will be wearing a uniform similar to their owners, showing the Kettering Council logo and the anti-dog fouling slogan ‘Bag that Poo’.
The aim is to find common ground between the wardens and other dog owners, encouraging friendly interaction and demonstrating a “do as we do, not just as we say” attitude to responsible dog ownership.
Wardens will be handing out free Kettering Council branded poo bags to dog walkers, but will also hand out £75 fines to any dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets.
The council is currently piloting the scheme where two wardens are taking their own dogs, Dexter (Jack Russell) and Rosie (Staffordshire Terrier), in the worst affected areas for dog fouling in an attempt to engage with dog walkers, gather intelligence and break down some of the perceived barriers between wardens and the public.
The wardens will also be taking part in the Dog Watch event at Pets at Home in Kettering between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, July 11.
Dog Watch is aimed at encouraging members of the public who walk their dogs to report incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime to the police or local authority.
On the day, people will be given the opportunity to speak with the police and two of the environmental wardens with their dogs about various issues, including anti-social behaviour and environmental crime, as well as being offered dog poo bags.
Children will also be able to meet the wardens’ dogs who will be wearing their official uniforms.
Shirley Plenderleith, head of environmental health at Kettering Council, said: “It’s a problem that our residents see on the streets, parks and playing fields.
“We want to build a good relationship with dog owners and at the same time reinforce the message that it is not acceptable for the public to allow their pets to do their business and then not bag it”.
Cllr Mark Dearing, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “Dog fouling is still a key issue in certain areas of the borough.
“As far as we know, this is the first time anything like this has been done in a local authority and we’re delighted with the response we’ve received so far.
“We hope this campaign reinforces the strong message that dog fouling is unacceptable.”
Kettering Council’s enforcement team can issue a £75 on the spot fine, known as a fixed penalty notice, if they see someone not cleaning up after their dog.
There is the possibility of prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500 if the original fine isn’t paid.