Forfar dog walker hits out at dogs’ mess after her pet falls ill

Local dog walker Sally Harding pictured with Baillie, Alfie and Rex, some of the dogs she walks as part of her business Walks4Paws.
Local dog walker Sally Harding pictured with Baillie, Alfie and Rex, some of the dogs she walks as part of her business Walks4Paws.

A Forfar woman who runs a dog walking business has called on owners to pick up their pets’ mess after her own have been struck down by viruses.

Sally Harding moved to the town last October and has described the level of dogs’ mess as the worst she has ever seen.

She has called on the public to do more after her pets became ill.

She told us: “I have two dogs and I am a dog walker. I have never seen so much dog mess in my life. It is everywhere. People clearly can’t be bothered picking up after their dogs.

‘‘My eldest dog has been nothing but ill since we moved here because she is continually picking up viruses from all the mess.”

A virus had infected one of her dog’s liver, leaving Sally “very upset and angry.”

She continued: “It is not acceptable and not necessary. If only people weren’t so lazy.”

Sally has spoken to Angus Council and has met an Angus councillor to discuss her concerns.

She added: “I am being told they are doing all they can, but I don’t see officers cleaning up the mess or issuing tickets, as I’m being told. All I am asking them to do is to put signs up everywhere advising people of the penalties, providing a lot more bins and offering free poo bags to the public. I have asked them to come down harder on the public but am being told they don’t have the budget for this. However, they can spend thousands on cleaning up the litter after the school kids. Surely dog mess is more hazardous.

‘‘We are currently trying to move to a cleaner area because of this. Our dogs’ health is very important to us.”

When contacted, a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Failing to pick up after your pet in public spaces is selfish, unpleasant, antisocial and presents a very serious health risk, particularly to children.

“What’s more it is against the law. Anyone who falls foul of legislation and fails to pick up after their pet risks a fine of £80.

“Forfar, like other parts of Angus, and Angus like other parts of the UK, does experience problems with dog owners failing to clear up their pet’s mess. We have around 1600 dual litter bins (which can be used for disposing of dog faeces) and dog waste bins across Angus and available for use.

‘‘In Forfar, there are 140 dual purpose bins and 77 dog poo bins. There is no excuse for not picking up.

“Our community wardens do carry out regular patrols in all our towns. As well as enforcing the law, we will investigate complaints and concerns that we receive and tailor our resources accordingly. If you see someone not cleaning up after their dog, report it online on our Report Dog Fouling page.”