Dog owners urged to pick up

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Dog owners in Banchory are being warned that they could be reported to police if they fail to clean up after their pets.

There have been a number of incidents spotted around the town, most notably on Bridge Street where one charity shop manager has expressed her frustration at the constant mess.

Alison Mulligan of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) told the Piper: “Since we opened the shop in September there has been dog mess left outside the shop at least once a week.

“Dog owners must be deliberately leaving it there, and it means that either myself or another shop worker has to clean it up.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times that shoppers have accidentally stood on the mess and brought it inside with them which I can say is not pleasant at all.

Ms Mulligan got in touch with Banchory and Mid Deeside councillor Linda Clark to discuss the problem and she has called on citizens to contact the police if they catch anyone failing to clean up after their dog.

Cllr Clark said: “Dog fouling is a result of dog owners either deliberately allowing this to happen or indeed dogs being out without their owners and thus resulting in this awful blight we all suffer on our streets and paths.

“The council provides bins especially for this and there are enforceable laws which can be brought to bear against culprits.

“I would ask if anyone knows who is allowing their dog to foul outside this lovely shop, to please report this to our local police or if they feel they wish to keep anonymity, they can ring Crimestoppers in complete confidence.”

The Banchory councillor, however, was quick to point out that only a small minority were giving dog owners a bad name.

“The vast majority of dog owners are very responsible and respectful of the space we all share,” Cllr Clark said.

“Cared-for, well-trained dogs are a lovely part of our communities and should be respected as such but we also need to respect the streets and paths we share.”

Owners can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £40 if they do not take responsibility for their pets.

Aberdeenshire Council said people should contact the local dog warden if they saw an owner failing to clean up after their dog.

A spokesman said: “Aberdeenshire Council has dog wardens based in the south, central and north areas of the region. The wardens rely on information from residents about people not cleaning up after their pets.

“If you witness anyone not cleaning up after their dog, please contact the warden and provide as much detail as possible so they can investigate.

“We urge all dog owners to take responsibility for their pets by tidying any mess made in public spaces and making use of the nearest available doggie bin and there are plenty of them in Banchory.

“Dog owners have a responsibility to pick up after their pets, even when there is snow on the ground, and use the facilities provided.

“If anyone has information about someone they suspect is not taking appropriate responsibility for their dog, they should contact us on (01569) 768224.”

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