‘Time to get tough on town’s irresponsible dog owners’

Local dog owner Patricia Harshaw posted this picture of her dog on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page. She was disgusted when her poor pooch got covered in dog mess while playing in a pile of leaves at Solitude Park.
Local dog owner Patricia Harshaw posted this picture of her dog on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page. She was disgusted when her poor pooch got covered in dog mess while playing in a pile of leaves at Solitude Park.

There have been calls from the public and politicians for the council to crack down on Banbridge’s irresponsible dog owners.

Despite the local authority’s efforts to tackle the issue of dog fouling, one local councillor has said the problem seems to be “getting worse” across the borough - a claim many local people would agree with.

Commenting on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page, members of the public have highlighted what they feel are a number of dog fouling problem areas around the town, including Newry Street, Laws Lane, Brookfield and Edenderry, Castlewellan Road, Ballygowan Road, Mountview Park, Havelock Park and towpath, Ballymoney Hill and the footpaths in the vicinity of a number of local schools.

One local resident commented: “I think it’s a problem right around the whole town, even the main streets of town.”

DUP Councillor Mark Baxter raised the issue at a meeting of ABC Council’s Environmental Services Committee last Tuesday night, calling for “more robust measures to be put in place” in a bid to deal with the problem.

He added that “new initiatives must be explored to send a clear message to the totally irresponsible dog owners.”

His party colleague, Councillor Paul Greenfield, has also spoken out in support of a council crackdown on irresponsible pet owners, saying that “more needs to be done” to clean up the borough’s streets.

“I feel we need to add more resources to tackle this specific issue. We have many responsible dog owners, but there are still too many who don’t seem to clean up after their pets,” he said.

• Read related story - Council says it is taking ‘proactive approach’ to problem