Ottery dog-owners plan clean-up

PUBLISHED: 21:33 18 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:22 17 June 2010

A GROUP of Ottery dog-owners hope to provide a more pleasant town for all when they embark on unique clean-up bid next weekend.

A GROUP of Ottery dog-owners hope to provide "a more pleasant town for all" when they embark on unique clean-up bid next weekend.

Ottery Dogs will set out on a "poop scoop" next Saturday, October 25, to curb the town's dog-fouling problem and promote responsible pet-ownership.

Debbie Connolly, a trainer on BBC 3's Dog Borstal and founder of "Safe Pets" will visit the town to back the bid.

The movement has taken shape as a dog ban looms over the "playing" field in Winters Lane. Dog-owner residents see the field as a vital community facility and feel they are paying the price for a wider problem in the town.

Group coordinator Adrian Forster said: "We don't want to be reactive but proactive. The purpose of our launch day is a much, if not more, about cleaning up the town as it is the dog ban. We believe that it is totally unacceptable for the people in our town to find dog poo in the streets, public footpaths or anywhere else."

"We decided to take what we believe more effective measures to improve the situation and benefit all."

"We want everybody to pick up their dog's poo, dispose of it properly and for owners to take every precaution possible to ensure that they possess no risk to anyone."

The group will spend next Saturday morning in special "poop scoop" t-shirts speaking to townsfolk in The Square before gathering in The Land of Canaan at 2.15pm.

In August town councillors backed proposals by East Devon District Council to prohibit dogs from setting foot on the Winters Lane field over concerns they were allowed to run free and foul in the area.

Richard and Anne Thomas-Hunt, of Hill View, use the field daily to walk dog Alex.

Anne, 36, said: "I can honestly say it is the cleanest field I have ever seen, it's almost a stigma if you go out without a bag and its well policed by its users."

"We are all just normal people and passionate about what we believe in. We don't want it to be a situation (with the town council) where it is them and us, but rather make it a positive thing and do something for Ottery."

Richard, 37 said: "Walking Alex on the field has got us right into the heart of the community. We've met so many people through it in such a short space of time.

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