Making a mark on dog mess

Dog fouling seen on Olympia Hill at Morpeth outlined with chalk marks.'REF 1301148049
Dog fouling seen on Olympia Hill at Morpeth outlined with chalk marks.'REF 1301148049

A DETERMINED grandmother has embarked on a crusade to rid the streets of dog muck.

Kathleen Mountain is so fed up with having to side-step dog mess in Morpeth that she has taken to circling the piles with a piece of chalk.

“The dog fouling around the town is appalling,” she said.

“I live in Olympia Hill and it is absolutely disgusting. Somebody has tried to clear the mess up, but they have just smeared it further down the hill. A lot of dog owners are totally responsible and clean up, but it is the ones who leave it who are the problem.”

Mrs Mountain’s campaign began when she took her grandson to nursery in Goosehill and people were complaining about mess outside. The 67-year-old got some chalk and circled it, but when she added the word ‘idiot’ somebody objected so she changed it to ‘very silly person’.

“Somebody said I shouldn’t make circles on the floor, but it is only chalk. In the summer the children all draw chalk on the path and it doesn’t do any harm,” she said.

“One lady said why don’t I just step over it, but I don’t think it is too much to expect to walk down the street without having to step sideways. People are not prepared to put up with it. If you have a dog you should take responsibility for it. I love dogs, but I don’t like irresponsible owners.”

Northumberland County Council has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to dog fouling.

Deputy Leader Dave Ledger said: “The council’s Local Services Group has made tackling dog fouling and other environmental crimes a top priority and is increasing the number of frontline staff that can issue fixed penalty notices. Dog fouling hotspots are being targeted across Northumberland to ensure the small minority of dog walkers who continue to break environmental laws are caught.

“We issued 81 fixed penalty notices last year, including five in Morpeth.”