Dog blight on Commons

PUBLISHED: 15:42 01 November 2010

AN angry Exmouth mum wants badly behaved dog owners named and shamed after her daughter was forced to avoid almost 80 instances of fouling on Woodbury Common in just 100 metres.

AN angry Exmouth mum wants badly behaved dog owners named and shamed after her daughter was forced to avoid almost 80 instances of fouling on Woodbury Common in just 100 metres.

Dog owner Ann Westwood, of Littlemead Lane was out with her 12-year-old daughter Lauren who spotted the area next to the Woodbury Castle car park strewn with dog mess.

In just 257 of Lauren’s steps 78 visible piles of dog mess was spotted: “I’m sick of people using the area as a toilet for their pets.

“People literally park let their dogs out to go to the toilet and drive off. It’s disgusting, it’s selfish and it’s irresponsible.

“My husband is a Royal Marine and he has to crawl through it when training.”

She has warned her daughter that infections like toxocariasis that can lead to blindness and fears for the safety of other children.

“I think those who are caught should be banned from the Commons full stop and their names and faces published.

“They should do what we do – if there aren’t any dog bins around, bag it and dispose of it at home.

“You shouldn’t have a dog if you can’t take responsibility.”

Commons Warden Bungy Williams said they didn’t charge people to use the Commons and asked, through their notices, dog owners to pick up after themselves.

“This of course we know they don’t do and some people that do then adorn the trees with their dog crap in a bag,” he said.

“If you worked out any combination of how many bins we would need and how often we would have to empty them then you will see it is going to be a big charge.”

Bungy also runs the Otter Estuary Reserve, which has dog bins at both ends and he added: “You only have to walk a few paces from either and you end up with dog mess on your shoes and the local trees have their own plastic bag decoration.”

Dog mess is not only a health hazard but damages the environment; dog waste is estimated to cause up to a third of all stream pollution.

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