DOG owners are being warned to keep their canine friends away from Dromore Rugby Club after 12 separate piles of dog mess were discovered at the pitch ahead of a recent match.
The club is now taking a strong stance against the offenders, saying images of dogs fouling on the grass and in particular owners not cleaning up the mess will be shown to the council dog warden in a bid to catch the culprits.
In a statement released to the Leader the club said that unless the dogs are on a lead, or being used as an aid for someone with a disability, they are simply not welcome in the grounds.
The health and safety risk to players and others who use the pitches is a big concern, said Nigel Dale, the club’s PRO.“Dog fouling can cause serious injury to any person but especially the young or old if its gets smeared on an open wound or small scratch,” said Mr Dale.
“Prior to a recent match involving under 13 and 17 teams some 12 separate areas of dog fouling were discovered on the first pitch and school pitches.
“We would ask all dog owners NOT to exercise their pets on the Rugby Pitches at Barban Hill, Dromore Rugby officials will be reporting all incidents to the Banbridge Dog Warden.
“If owners are found using the pitches and in particular not cleaning up after their animal all CCTV images from around the Rugby Club will be made available to the Banbridge Dog Warden.”
The warning comes just a few months after Banbridge District Council pledged to tackle what is said to be a persistent problem in the Dromore area.
In April this year the council increased fines for dog owners who fail to clean up their pet’s mess from £50 to £80.
At the time of the fines increase the council’s Environmental Services Manager Gillian Topping told the Leader, “It is very much something that concerns us, something we constantly grapple with.
“We’re always trying to improve how we approach the problem, but in the end it comes back down to the dog-owners.
“Dog-owners know what they should be doing, but some very deliberately let their dog do its business, then walk on,” she said.
“If we detect a case of dog fouling we always issue a fixed penalty.”