Irresponsible dog owners warned: “We’re watching you”

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Glow-in-the-dark posters aimed at persuading owners to clean up after their pets will be appearing in dog fouling hotspots across the district in the coming weeks.

Canterbury City Council is teaming up with Keep Britain Tidy, who designed the posters, which show a pair of eyes staring back with the message: “Thoughtless dog owners: we’re watching you. 9 out of 10 dog owners clean up after their dog, are you the one that doesn’t?”

The award-winning posters have been used around the country and have been shown to reduce dog fouling by up to 77 per cent.

Cllr Neil Baker with the ‘we’re watching you’ signs

Chairman of the city council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “The vast majority of owners do the right thing and clean up after their dogs.

“But there is a small minority that don’t, and we know people are less likely to pick up after their dogs when they feel they are not being watched. Dog fouling is at its worst around dawn and dusk.

“Research shows these posters really work and persuade people to change their behaviour. They also remind those who go to the trouble of bagging their dog’s poo and then hang it on bushes or trees, that they can dispose of bags in any bin not just dog poo bins.”

Wincheap is the first area to get the signs (photo by Caroline Hicks)

A number of roads in the Wincheap area will be among the first to have posters put up after generating a large number of complaints about dog fouling.

The We’re Watching You posters are part of the council’s long-running Love Where We Live campaign aimed at tackling littering, dog fouling, graffiti and flytipping.

In the autumn of last year, the council distributed 10,000 free biodegradable dog poo bags across the district as a back-up option for those dog owners who ran out while walking their pets.

Cllr Baker added: “Catching those who leave dog waste on the ground in the act is the enforcement equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack, which is why last year we added the power to challenge dog owners to show they had the means to clean up after their animals.

“We hope this new approach will persuade the irresponsible owners to do the right thing and not force us to use council taxpayers’ money to try and catch them.”

To report dog fouling, go to the council’s website and search for dog fouling.