Following on from the letter about the Football Team having to clean up dog mess from the pitches before playing, I had an interesting experience this afternoon.
Walking to pick my children up from school, a women with two beagles in the Manor Sports ground seemed quite happy to let her dogs mess on the field, in the snow (so it was fairly obvious where the dog had been).
I don’t normally go in for any kind of confrontation, but having cleaned dogs’ mess off my children’s shoes and school trousers for the third time this week, I am afraid that I had a bit of a moment and pointed out to her that it was her dog that had made the mess.
Her response was that she knew it was her dog, had no bags with her and that if that was all I had to worry about in my life, I should think myself lucky.
I feel completely at a loss to know what we as a community have to do to get people to realise that dog fouling is just simply unacceptable.
Yes I do have bigger things in my life to worry about and two of those things are my children – keeping them safe.
You cannot get away from the fact that dogs’ mess is dangerous as well as distressing when you have to spend time cleaning it off clothes, shoes, carpets, etc.
I probably won’t ever have the nerve to point out to someone again that their dog’s mess has been left – particularly after the response from this woman, but I just don’t know what the answer is to stop this kind of behaviour.
Maybe one course of action is to prevent all sports grounds from being used by dog walkers and ensure all other open spaces only have a designated area in which dogs can be walked – maybe then at least dog owners themselves can either walk in their own dog’s mess or at least police their own area.
As for the woman in the park, if you are reading this, I hope that you feel suitably ashamed.
Whether you had bags with you or not, your animal’s mess is your responsibility not something that other users of the sports ground should have to deal with.