Volunteers and wardens tackling Kettering's dog poo problem
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The number of dog fouling complaints in Kettering is so high that volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to pick up poo.
Wardens will also increase their patrols of parts of the town with new signs installed in the Brambleside area after an increase in the number of incidents.
The situation is so bad that Kettering Green Party members took to the north side of Kettering at the weekend, collecting 40 bags of mess which had been left on the streets or green areas.
Volunteer Dez Dell said: "We’ve heard many complaints from local residents about dog mess being left, that we decided to do something about it.
"While we are well-practised at litter picking, this was something new for us.
"We were surprised to find as much as we did and it's a real shame that it was in so many of our green spaces. It can cause toxocariasis, which mainly affects young children and can cause blindness, so it's awful to find as much as we did."
One Blandford Avenue resident said it was "disgraceful" that people don't pick up their mess.
Another volunteer, Emily Fedorowycz, said: "I've heard so many people talk about dog mess as an issue and with all the litter picks we do locally, you see so many of it around the streets of Kettering. Unfortunately, it's likely just a very small amount of people that are to blame. The majority of dog owners are incredibly considerate and responsible, but like with litter it's just a few that spoil it for the many.
"Picking it up today was just one small way we could help, but the community is already creating solutions. I spotted a poo bag station on Charles Street, with spare bags for those who many have forgotten their own, and other community members in Brambleside covered up dog dirt with tissues asking owners to clear up the mess. This helped parents with kids playing in the park avoid unsanitary areas - a really great idea. Amazingly, some dog owners we spoke to were picking up other people's dog leavings while out walking too. This just shows how many people care for our town - and that those that care hugely outweigh those that don't."
Those who fail to pick up after their dog can face a fine of up to £1,000 under Public Space Protection Order laws.
Last year the Northants Telegraphrevealed Kettering Council handed out four fixed penalty notices for dog fouling.
The new signage reminds potential offenders that they could face a fine if caught and is alongside existing signs targeting the one in 10 minority of dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.
Kettering Council’s warden team will also undertake more patrols in the green space between Carriage Drive and Brooksdale Close which has become an area of increased concern in recent months.
At least three bins are already provided for those using this popular walking area.
Cllr Ash Davies, who represents Brambleside, said: "The issue of dog fouling is a source of continued concern for local residents who have kindly taken the time to contact me about this matter.
"I do hope that the new signage, along with patrols from Kettering Council's warden team, will help to reduce the number of incidents in the area.
"With numerous bins already available to use, there really is no excuse not to ‘bag it and bin it’ for the minority that continue to let their dogs foul in our community."
- A Green Party litter pick will be held on October 24, meeting at 10am at Rica Coffee at the Brambleside shops
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