Irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets in Sudbury are being warned that patience with the issue is wearing thin.
As Sudbury Town Council launched the third phase of its anti-dog fouling campaign, owners were told to expect heavy fines if caught leaving their dog’s mess on the streets.
“So far this year, we have not given out any fines, because it is a last resort,” said community warden Bradley Smith.
“But dog fouling is a problem which keeps cropping up and we have had lots of complaints. Now we are saying ‘let’s get serious’.”
The town’s wardens were given powers to fine people up to £1,000 for dog fouling earlier this year as part of a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.
Mr Smith said this, along with a poster campaign by schoolchildren in the area asking owners to clean up after their dog, had helped reduce the amount of mess on pavements.
However, parts of the town centre, around schools and The Croft remain badly affected and on Tuesday the council unleashed its latest deterrent – a human-sized dog mascot – to further highlight the problem.
“I hope people will start to realise the seriousness of this issue,” said Monica Hertz, a mother to Hugo, eight, who helps out at St Joseph’s Primary School in Beaconsfield Road.
“There is lots of poo smeared on pavements around the school and it is not a good start to the day when a child walks in with poo on their shoes.”
Colin Jones, who owns The Bed Room in Friars Street, said he regularly came across dog mess outside his shop.
“It is often a problem and if someone asked I would give them a bag to pick it up,” he said.
“On one day, the postman stood in some outside and walked it through the shop. It is not nice and with children around it can be dangerous.”
Graham Masters, contract manager at The Landscape Group, which has the task of keeping Sudbury clean, said he welcomed the council’s response to the blight.
“We are very pleased to be working together to try to prevent this,” he said.
The council dog mascot does not currently have a name. Tweet @SFPNeil with your suggestions.