Dog orders working

DOG orders in Wyre are helping to win the battle against fouling and irresponsible owners.

That’s the message from Wyre Council, which says the number of offences in Fleetwood and other parts of the borough has gone down.

The number of complaints to the council about dog fouling have been reduced by 63 per cent over the past six months.

From October 2011 to March 2012, there were 394 complaints to the authority about the mess being left on the streets.

This dropped to 146 over the following six months.

The changes come as enforcement officers from the council take measures to stop dog walkers from taking pets into open spaces.

In Fleetwood, pets are not allowed to be walked in the Marine Gardens, Fleetwood Cemetery and Larkholme Allotments in Fleetwood.

Dogs must be kept on a lead in Branksome Avenue, Bourne Way and Church Road playing fields in Thornton and Farnham Way and Cottam Hall fields in Poulton.

Residents in the borough say dog fouling is one of the issues which most annoys them, and visitors to Fleetwood have also complained about it.

And the problem also carries health implications, with the toxocariasis infection sometimes causing blindness to children who come into contact with dog mess.

In Fleetwood, the orders has been welcomed by many – including responsible dog owners.

Jennifer Milnes, 62, of Greenfield Road, Fleetwood, who has a dog herself, says the council should be protecting certain areas from animals.

She added: “This is a good idea and I’m glad they are doing something.

“There’s never been restrictions before and dog walkers need to take notice of something like this.

“It will help protect owners from wild animals as well and this will help keep dogs safe – especially if they have to be kept on a lead.

“It is good to know that cases of dog fouling have gone down, so the orders must be working.

“It is very welcome indeed.”

Mark Billington, head of operations at Wyre Council, told councillors at a meeting of the authority’s Street Cleansing Task Group that more people now know what to do to report an irresponsible owner.

And he said there had been a much greater level of contact from members of the public, across the borough.

Mr Billington said: “Since the new service has been in operation the number of customer contacts has increased by 11 per cent, demonstrating people know they can contact the council about matters of concern.

“There was a higher intensity of staff in Fleetwood, although the flexible approach ensured the service would remain responsive to needs as they arose.

“A decrease of 63 per cent in the number of dog fouling complaints had been recorded, which reflected a combination of increased patrols, education and enforcement, and an improved mechanised sweeping regime.”