Since last Autumn, when an appreciable decrease in dog faeces was achieved and as a result contributed in part to Gnosall winning the Best Kept Village in Staffordshire, it has been noticed and commented on by many Villagers that there has been a sharp increase in incidences of irresponsible dog owners not clearing up after their pets. This is most prevalent in the High Street, Cross Street, grass verges along the A518 and unbelievably within a few yards of the bins on the Village Green.
This could well coincide with dogs having been taken on at Christmas and inexperienced owners walking their new pets. However, this is still no excuse. If your dog defecates in the street, or on the Greenway or indeed anywhere, it is your responsibility to clear it up. Perhaps, these owners both old and new need to be educated into the ways of responsible dog ownership. Several of the campaign notices have been vandalised / taken down and this is clearly unacceptable, they are there for a purpose and to serve as a reminder.
Remember, anyone found not to be clearing up after their dog will be served a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.00 (and if this isn't paid by the due date it will increase in steps up to £1000 and a court appearance).
The Stafford Borough Council Enforcement Team will be patrolling the Village and the Greenway, but if you witness someone not clearing up, then you are at liberty to report them to the Parish Council or the Enforcement Team at SBC. If your report culminates in a successful prosecution, you could receive the amount the person has been fined. However, I would point out not to put yourself in danger, if or when, approaching anyone.
The Parish Council don't wish to appear to be coming down hard on these individuals and would much rather offer advice, education and free dog poo bags!
The vast majority of dog owners in the village are responsible owners. I know, because I have seen them cleaning up after their pets. We all need to make a big effort to educate and encourage those few irresponsible ones in good practices.
Dog poo bags are available for free at the Parish Office (behind the Grosvenor Centre) and the Bakery in Wharf Road.
On a personal note, since I have taken on responsibility for heading up the campaign for the Parish Council, I have been approached on three occasions and received a verbal lambasting each time concerning my dislike / hatred of dogs. Those of you who know me will understand just how far from the truth this is. I currently have two of my own and have been involved with training dogs and owners for over 40 years, 29 of these years at Church Eaton.