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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Dog dirt sprayed yellow at parks
Dogs mess
Volunteers will spray paint dogs mess yellow to shame owners
Dogs mess at two north Wales country parks is to be sprayed yellow in a bid to crackdown on pet owners who fail to clean up after their animals.

Volunteers at Loggerheads country park and Brickfield Pond in Rhyl will spray paint dog faeces found on the paths.

Owners will also be given biodegradable plastic "poop scoop" bags to encourage them to take away their pets' dirt.

Countryside officer Vanessa Cooke said: "At Brickfield Pond the paths could look like the yellow brick road."

She has brought in the spraying-and-shaming scheme at the two Denbighshire sites after researching a number of ways to crackdown on irresponsible owners.

You can't look up and enjoys the views from path because of the dogs mess - it is easier now it's been painted
Countryside officer Vanessa Cooke

Each of the parks has its own task force of volunteers for the messy job over the summer season. A score chart will be used to keep a weekly count of the finds.

But it is hoped the highly visible yellow patches around the parks will help deter dog walkers from leaving their pets' calling cards behind.

The green-coloured poop scoop bags being made available to dog owners compost within 90 days.

Ms Cooke studied anti-dogs mess initiatives in the UK and abroad before deciding to bring in the scheme.

She said: "Dogs have got to do it, and dog walkers are incredibly important to us. It's just trying to get all owners to be responsible.

"It's a small minority that are letting things down.

"Brickfields is the worst. You can't look up and enjoys the views from path because of the dogs mess. It is easier now it's been painted."

Fines

Ms Cooke said the plan has been sparked by incident in Loggerheads last year when a four-year-old girl following the educational Rubbings Path knelt down at a featured site and found herself in dog's mess.

"The girl's father was furious and could not believe a dog owner would their animal foul at a spot when it was known children would have to kneel on the ground," she added.

Ms Cooke said that if there is no decrease in the number of dog foulings by the end of the summer the dog warden would start taking action against offending owners.

Anyone caught allowing their dogs to foul in public could face a 1,000 fine or being issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Loggerheads attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year, Brickfields Pond up to 30,000. Denbighshire has an estimated 20,000 dogs.


SEE ALSO:
Bigger fines for dog mess
25 Mar 04 |  Wales
Award for saving mountain
09 May 03 |  North East Wales
Cadets monitor mating game
15 Apr 03 |  North East Wales


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