Father’s warning over dog mess

Axminster man fears for safety of children.

A father-of-four has warned that children’s health is at risk from the the increasing amount of dog mess on an Axminster housing estate.

Mervyn Tims says the piles of poo being left on pavements at Cridlake are totally unacceptable.

And he is warning that youngsters are in danger of getting the potentially blinding toxocariasis disease which can be caught from contact with dog faeces.

He says the district council should clean up the mess, put up more signs and impose heavier fines to deter irresponsible pet owners.

He said: “Children are stepping in the dog mess and risking their health. Other nearby residents have complained – it’s just not on.

“It could be irresponsible owners too tired to pick it up or people just letting their dogs out on their own to do their business. Either way, it is down to them.

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“I complained to the district council and a woman there said I should pick it up – but it is not my responsibility.

“I am community-minded like everyone else, but you have to draw the line somewhere and I have a bad back.

“If you complained there was litter in the street or an abandoned vehicle the council would expect to come and get that.”

Mr Tims stressed that he was not against the majority of dog owners who cleaned up after their pets. He added: “It is the irresponsible few who should foot the bill in clearing up the mess.”

A spokesman for the district council said: “We can confirm that our dog warden is actively responding to all complaints regarding dog fouling and, if there is a particular area where a member of the public feels that a blitz is required, they should contact us.

“We will respond and fixed penalty tickets will be issued if offences are witnessed.

“We do require assistance from the public on this matter and if they have witnessed an offence and are happy to provide a witness statement and attend any court proceedings, we will follow this investigation up and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice on their statement.”

“We are always proactive in this matter and will patrol all areas that come to our attention.”

The council sent a dog warden and environmental health official Jill Weller to Cridlake last Friday and found no sign of dog poo on pavements.

l Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environmental Act, owners must clear up after their dogs on all land and beaches to which the public have access or face an �80 fixed penalty.