Calls for name and shame site in Sid Valley

The Byes. Ref shs 16-16SH 1400. Picture: Simon Horn

The Byes. Ref shs 16-16SH 1400. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A Sidford dog owner has called for a name and shame system to shine a spotlight on irresponsible owners who do not pick up after their pets.

Linda Morling said it was in light of the amount of dog mess she spotted being left by ‘unscrupulous owners’ who ignored ‘dogs on lead’ and ‘no dogs’ signs in areas around the Sid Valley.

The 62-year-old added: “If people thought there was actually a chance of getting caught and being publicly shamed it might help clean up the Byes, seafront and children’s play areas.

“The other day, I pointed out to a lady on the rugby pitch that her two dogs should be on leads and got a mouthful of abuse and the comment ‘it’s my choice if I wish to risk a fine’.

“She did not seem concerned that children play rugby there and inevitably have their faces in the grass.

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“She said she always picked up but you cannot watch two dogs all the time.

“Traces of poo invariably stay on the grass and I’ve never seen anyone pick up wee yet.”

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Linda said she thought there should be an name and shame Facebook page where people could upload pictures and tag others – not only to highlight irresponsible dog owners but also to name and shame people caught littering, parking badly and doing other inconsiderate things.

An East Devon District Council spokeswoman said they did use a ‘name and shame’ type message in parish magazines which was effective in villages but this was not as useful within towns.

She added: “We would review this in a particular area if there was a serious issue, but this is not the case in Sidmouth. We have been working with the rugby and football clubs at Sidford and providing help to them. Officers from Environmental Health and Streetscene have attended that area many times over the last year and have spoken to dog owners.

“Unfortunately, there are some who persist in blatantly ignoring the dog on lead signs even though they say they understand the reason why dogs should not go onto the pitches.”

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