ON the 3rd July 2017, Northumberland Council launched a new campaign to promote responsible dog ownership in Northumberland. At the core of the campaign is the Green Dog Walker Initiative that encourages both local environmental groups and motivated individuals to sign up to the Green Dog Walker pledge.
The Campaign focuses on the issues of dog fouling (being a Green Dog Walker) together with dog control and public safety. Dog fouling can have a significant impact on our environment and presents a serious public health risk from Toxocariasis an illness of humans caused by dog roundworm that is found in dog faeces and can lead to blindness in humans.
This campaign will form an important part of the County Council’s overall approach to dog control. The commitment to effective enforcement will continue as before with targeted enforcement patrols at identified problem areas across Northumberland.
The Campaign will seek to promote Northumberland as a welcoming place to responsible dog walkers whether residents or visitors but also emphasise that Northumberland is not a place that tolerates irresponsible dog owners again whether residents or visitors. The philosophy behind the Green Dog Walker Initiative is to change public attitudes so that it becomes socially unacceptable to fail to clean up after your dog, i.e. they should leave only pawprints.
The Green Dog Walker Initiative relies on volunteers for its delivery and uses a non-confrontational ‘keep it friendly’ approach to encourage responsible dog ownership. Talking to dog walkers, offering free poop bags and in turn encouraging them to also sign up to the green dog walker pledge. The group or individual provides the “on the ground” work to sign up further pledgers.
The Green Dog Walker Pledge includes: pledging to always wear the green dog walkers armband when walking your dog, to always clean up after your dog & put the bag in a bin, and adopt a friendly non-confrontational way to encouraging other dog walkers to do the same. All that pledge to the scheme will be supplied with free GDW doggie bags to distribute to other dog walkers.
Key messages of the campaign are:
➢ dog fouling is a significant public health problem and blight on our environment
➢ that picking up after your dog or reporting those that don’t helps protect Northumberland’s environment for all
➢ that the fixed penalty fine for offenders in Northumberland has been increased to £100
➢ that dogs should be kept under control at all times in public spaces in the interest of public safety
➢ that dog owners should always be aware of the need to keep dogs on leads to avoid the worrying of farm animals, the disturbance to roosting, breeding birds, & stranded seals
➢ and that the Council encourages responsible dog walkers to join up as volunteers for the Green Dog Walker Initiative and help promote responsible dog ownership across Northumberland.
Information about the campaign and an online Green Dog Walker pledge form can be found at www.northumberland.gov.uk/greendogwalkers
Lynemouth Parish Council would like to thank you for your support.