Barban householder (87) fed up with morning mess

Irresponsible dog-owners are under fire again this week with news that an 87 year-old Dromore woman is being plagued with almost daily ‘deposits’ at her front gate.

Despite being unsteady on her feet, the houseproud Barban Heights woman resolutely clears up after the dog or dogs whose owners opt instead to leave the mess where it lies.

Said her angry daughter, “This mess is left lying practically at my mother’s door.

“She’s 87 years old and not that steady on her feet but she’s always been careful of her own house, so she goes out and lifts it.

“It’s ridiculous that an 87 year old is having to do this; she shouldn’t have to lift this mess.

“My mother is not fit to do this and she’s fed up with it, fed up with opening up her gate only to see this mess sitting there all the time.

“No-one seems to be able to get whoever it is who won’t clean up after their dog and leaves it lying right in front of my mother’s gate.”

Dromore’s Barban Hill area has in the past been identified among local trouble spots when it comes to dog fouling, a problem that seems to persist despite all efforts to educate the public and crack down on offenders.

As recently as September this year, Banbridge District launched what it called a major initiative to tackle the fouling problem. The ‘Stamp It’campaign saw areas where dog fouling was most evident - Dromore Town Park among them - receive ‘stamps’ across the pavements and walkways to indicate the area would be subject to increased surveillance and Dog Warden Patrols.

Council policy is to issue a £50 fixed-penalty notice to anyone seen failing to clean up after a dog in their charge. If the person fails to pay or re-offends they can be taken to court,where the maximum fine is £500. In the first six monthsof 2013 some 82 dogownerswere warned abouttheir dog’s behaviour or for having no licence, with action taken to ensure that a licence was obtained.

“The Councilare aware that it is the minority of dog owners who do not clean up after their pet,” said Banbridge District Council environmental warden Allan Priestly at the time. “However, the mess that is created tarnishes the good name of responsible owners plus the look of our streets and parks.

“We want to highlight the problem through the Stamp It campaign and urge all residents to report repeat offenders directly to theCouncil.”