IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners in Newhaven can not be bothered to clear up after their pets – even when the animals foul near children’s playgrounds.
In the most extreme cases, dog faeces can lead to blindness in children if it comes into contact with their eyes.
The unpleasant issue has been causing increasing concern to residents, as a large amount of dog excrement is being found in parks and on footpaths.
Lewes District Council is warning owners its enforcement officers will be patrolling the area.
Lead councillor for health and environment Andy Smith said: “As a council we ensure that dog bins are made available in common walking areas.
“The dog bins are specifically for the disposal of dog faeces from parks or on the street. If no bin is readily available it should be taken home and disposed of in a hygienic manner.
“There is no excuse not to be aware of the problems caused by dog fouling and we would encourage all dog walkers in the area to be responsible and clean up after your dog.”
Not clearing up after your dog is illegal in almost all public areas, not just on pavements and paths.
On Thursday July 28 council animal control wardens Louisa Young and Colin Brownjohn were responding to concerns in the Valley Ward of Newhaven by holding a whole day of enforcement patrols with PCSOs from the neighbourhood policing team.
The animal control officers were particularly concerned to find a lot of dog fouling around parks and children’s play areas.
They handed out more than 300 dog fouling bags and wardens put up more than 30 signs on lampposts warning of the penalties.
The law requires that dog faeces are removed immediately by the person who is responsible for the dog at that time.
Failure to do this in any area that the law applies is an offence, carrying a maximum penalty of £1,000.
Officers will continue to patrol the areas and will seek prosecutions against any dog owners not clearing up after their pets.
Roundworm parasites present in dog faeces cause a rare condition called toxocariasis. If it gets into the eyes it can lead to cloudy vision and a red painful eye, but if left untreated it can lead to permanent blindness in the affected eye.