Larne public ‘barking mad’ over dog fouling

Residents are frustrated at dog fouling in the Larne area. INLT-04-703-con
Residents are frustrated at dog fouling in the Larne area. INLT-04-703-con

The Larne public is calling for more to be done to tackle dog fouling after last week’s Larne Times story highlighted the scale of the problem in the town.

Our story was viewed hundreds of times online and shared among the local community, who voiced their disgust in the Facebook comment stream.

Residents told of overflowing dog fouling bins as well as dog mess being found outside local primary schools and in private gardens.

Mum-to-be Holly Smyth commented: “Disgusting not lifting up after your own dog!

“I live in Walnut and it’s full again of the mess, also across the Killyglen Road where I slipped on some last night whilst walking my dog.

“Bearing in mind I’m pregnant.”

Fellow Walnut resident Bev Todd added: “Where I am in Walnut is ridiculous! I’m in a cul-de-sac with a small green area and it’s as if the whole of the area walks their dogs there because no-one will see them leave the poo behind!

“But it’s gross when my wee dog then comes in the house with poo on her feet and I have to clean it up.

“It’s disgusting and extremely selfish! It takes five seconds and a pack of 100 bags is £1.”

Ann Marshall said that Dixon Park was also affected by dog fouling.

“Although most owners pick up in Dixon Park there are a few who totally ignore it and walk on. When I do see them I let them know.

“But it makes me angry when they say they don’t have any bags with them.

“Would they take their babies go out without nappies on?”

Gary Glenn said that those who failed to clean up after their dogs in the Ballystrudder area were “a disgrace”.

“The footpaths are covered in it, particularly from the Spar to the bend on Ballystrudder Road,” he revealed.

“I have two dogs and always clear up. There are bins provided so there’s no excuse. Just yesterday I had to walk on the road because of dog mess covering the footpath. These people are a disgrace.”

Chantal Brownlow added that the situation in Boyne Square was “awful.”

“I was out walking with the pram yesterday and it was like a blooming obstacle course,”she explained.

“I have a dog and wouldn’t dream of not picking up after it. Something needs to be done.”

Glynn, the Harbour Highway, Bay Road, Wyncairn and Ferris Park were also highlighted as dog fouling hotspots.

Dog owner Emma Mawhinney said that the actions of irresponsible dog owners gave “all dog owners a bad name.”

When contacted by the Larne Times last week, a Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson revealed that only two fixed penalties of £50 each have been issued for dog fouling in Larne in 2015/16. There were no prosecutions as both people paid the fines.

The spokesperson said that a new Assistant Environmental Warden would start work on February 1 and would work earlier mornings and later evenings on a rota basis to better match need.

“That means there will then be two wardens, as there is already an Environmental Warden in post,” he continued.

The council is drawing up suggested patrols routes for this warden based on complaints received and is asking the public for their input. The council says it is willing to offer an information/training session for residents and councillors when the new warden is in post.

The spokesperson continued: “There are 150 litter bins and 130 dog foul bins in the legacy Larne Borough. Residents can put dog foul in either type of bin as long as it is bagged. Half of these bins (those known to be well used) are checked daily and 50 per cent (less well used ones) are checked twice a week. “Each request for additional dog and litter bins is assessed individually.”