‘Pick up your dog’s mess or face a fine’ that’s the warning from Monmouthshire County Council as it looks to educate dog owners about the dangers of not cleaning up after your pet.

The council’s pledge comes following a successful awareness day held on 22nd April 2021 across Abergavenny’s Bailey Park, Usk town and Raglan village, where poo bags were handed out to people walking their dogs who need them. Dog owners were also encouraged to use the many dog waste and litter bins at the entrances to Bailey Park to dispose of bagged dog waste, or alternatively take it home where it can be placed in a household waste bin.

In Usk, the Pooper Snooper app has been adopted to help tackle dog fouling in the town. The app maps all the dog poo and litter bins in the town, so it is easy to find out the location of each bin for people with a new dog or who are visitors to the area.  It also provides a method of reporting dog fouling incidents, which can help identify hot spot areas where patrolling could be increased or a bin provided. The more people that use the app, the greater its usefulness in tackling the problem. 

In Raglan, various hot spot sites identified on social media were visited and a pavement stencil used to remind dog owners to ‘Clean It Up’. All of the dog owners encountered in the village were carrying bags, which helps highlight that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and support the need to ‘bag it and bin it’.

One of Usk’s responsible dog owners lending support to the campaign, which asks residents to pick up after their pets, and to bin their poo bags not leave them strung from a fence or tree.

Apart from the obvious unpleasant issues of dog mess on shoes, pushchairs, bikes and wheelchairs, dog faeces carry very real health risks. Toxocariasis is an infection transmitted from animals to humans through contact with parasitic roundworm eggs, usually through pet faeces that have not been cleared from the ground. People playing sports or sitting on the ground are more likely to be at risk from toxocariasis, which can cause blindness, damage to organs and, in rare cases, septicaemia. The risk can be reduced if owners clean up their pets’ faeces from the ground, and if their animals are treated regularly for roundworm.  Dog faeces are also damaging to farm livestock, and reduce the value of crops such as silage and hay.

Authorised officers of Monmouthshire County Council can serve a fixed penalty notice of £75 on someone who is witnessed not cleaning up their dog’s faeces. If the fixed penalty notice is not paid, a much heavier fine of up to £1000 can be imposed by a magistrate. In addition, any resident who witnesses dog fouling can report it via the council’s website.

Frances O’Brien, Chief Officer for Enterprise said: “Our teams work exceptionally hard to keep Monmouthshire’s green spaces and public areas to a high standard and it’s important as residents or as visitors to make sure we are cleaning up after our pets. Not only does dog fouling carry the risk of a fine but it also carries the risk of health issues. Please make sure you are disposing of your dog’s mess appropriately so residents and their four-legged friends can continue enjoying all of Monmouthshire’s beautiful open spaces.”

For more information about the Pooper snooper app or to report dog fouling in your area visit: natural-apptitude.co.uk/project/pooper-snooper/  To report dog fouling, visit the council’s website at monmouthshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/dogfouling/