Exmouth churchwardens to challenge 'irresponsible' pet owners

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 October 2015

All Saints deputy churchwarden Ian Allen is pictured with his his pooch Bosun this week as church members are calling on dog owners not to let their pets foul the grounds of the church. Ref exe 4672-43-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

All Saints deputy churchwarden Ian Allen is pictured with his his pooch Bosun this week as church members are calling on dog owners not to let their pets foul the grounds of the church. Ref exe 4672-43-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Irresponsible pet owners who fail to clean up their dog mess from a memorial garden in The Colony face being challenged if caught.

All Saints’ Church garden of remembrance - where loved-ones’ ashes are scattered - has become so ‘polluted’ by dog mess the gardener can no longer cut the grass.

Church staff said volunteers plan to monitor the area and are prepared to challenge anyone caught not cleaning up after their pet, in a bid to ‘name and shame’.

Another idea being floated by the church could include offering free clean-up bags to dog owners.

Ian Allen, All Saints’ Church deputy churchwarden, said he believed it was an ‘irresponsible few’ causing the problems.

He said: “It’s got worse recently. I am convinced there are a lot of responsible dog owners who look after their dogs and look after the mess. I am pretty much convinced it’s a few irresponsible people; there’s no need for it.”

“It’s very discourteous; it’s a garden of remembrance. It’s not a graveyard, fair enough, but people have scattered ashes there.

“Every tree, every shrub, every flower and every blade of grass is cared for in remembrance of many loved ones who have passed to greater glory.”

Mr Allen said his message to the culprits was: “How upset would you be if the grave or garden of remembrance where your loved-ones rest in peace was used as a toilet?”

Problems with fouling escalated when the churchyard gardener was forced to abandon the memorial garden’s last grass cut of the season because of the extent of dog mess.

The congregation plans to hold a working party to rid the area of dog mess in the hope of the gardener returning.

“Our gardener has now stopped mowing the lawns because he cannot, quite rightly, tolerate the amount of dog mess that pollutes our grounds,” said Mr Allen.

“From now on, we, as the congregation of All Saints’ Exmouth, will be keeping an eye out - early morning, noon and night.

“If somebody sees a dog doing its business without its owner picking it up, they will be challenged. We will not be afraid to name and shame.”

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