Calling foul again!

The age-old problem of dog-owners allowing their pets to foul in the street has once again been brought to the attention of The Brechiner (writes Steven Rae)

Gwen Robertson, of Montrose Street, highlighted the extent of the problem in the centre of town on The Brechin Advertiser Facebook page.

“I was in the high street the other day and outside the few shops we have dog poo,” she commented.

“In fact it seems that all the main streets in Brechin are getting used for this.

“What’s the point in trying to attract visitors and people to open businesses when, as soon as you walk about the place, you run the risk of dog poo on your shoes?

“I have two large dogs and neither have ever messed on the street when I walk them around the town.

“It takes a matter of seconds to pick it up and put in a bin. I came home the other night to see dog poo on the pavement, and my house walls covered in dog pee. It’s deliberately done and is a health hazard, and the local parks are just as bad.

“I know The Brechiner has highlighted it before, and for a while it wasn’t so prominent, but it appears people have forgotten and gone back to their lazy ways.

“I’ve emailed the council also about this. Hopefully, if it’s highlighted again and again, it will eventually sink into people’s heads.”

Many other residents from all over Brechin who use the website were quick to have their say on the matter.

One woman said: “Can’t agree with you more, Gwen, it is so annoying.

“I once caught a woman letting her dog poo on my doorstep, and went out and gave her a carrier bag to pick it up.

“She just carried on walking down road. Not nice, but it would be a different story if we took our dogs to their doorsteps.”

One resident claimed that the problem increases as the evenings get darker, saying that the path from the fire station, past Andover School, a popular dog-walking route, is a particular area of concern.

Many of the residents also stated that ,when challenged about the dog-fouling, owners were simply ignorant, dismissive or, as in one case, picked up the dog and ran away.

Another user commented that she believes that people need to be more pro-active and challenging towards the irresponsible behaviour, saying people should report offences, and photograph them if possible, to use as evidence.

The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 makes it an offence for the person in charge of a dog to fail to pick up and dispose of any faeces.

The control of dogs was also an issue raised via Facebook, mainly by those with children, with one mother claiming her daughter is “terrified” when dogs approach her.

Dogs were said to be often approaching children, or chasing other dogs, as they were not on a lead.

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 makes it an offence for any person who suffers or permits any creature in their charge to cause danger or injury to any other person who is in a public place or to give such person reasonable cause for alarm or annoyance.

It is also a legal requirement under the Control of Dogs Order 1992 for a dog to wear a collar with the owner’s name and address on it. Two other pieces of legislation, the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, require owners to have proper control of their dog. The penalties if they do not have proper control of their dog include a fine, imprisonment and the possible compulsory destruction of the dog.

Mrs Robertson added that she had emailed the council, saying: “It has been passed to the street lighting section. I hope I am contacted soon.

“I have to add that it is not the fault of the men and women who are employed by the council for excrement on the street. These people work very hard and are having to clean up mess all the time. And I think it is disgusting that they do have to clean it up.”