Dog owners kick up a stink about fouling problems

FELIXSTOWE: An angry dog lover says irresponsible canine owners are giving them all a bad name because of the increasing amount of animal mess left on the seafront.

Councillors and residents say problems with dog fouling at Felixstowe are not getting any better – and are jeopardising the reputation of the resort.

“I think it is getting worse – I go down to the seafront to walk my dog three or four times a day and there is always mess all over the place, on the prom and beach,” said Alan Vernau, manager of the VK1 off-licence in Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe.

“There is mess in Langer Park, too, and lots of the streets.

“There seems to be more and more irresponsible dog owners and we are all getting tarred with the same brush.

“This is a seaside town, too, and it will put visitors off if they come here and see this sort of mess and keep having to look out where they walk or sit on the beach.”

Members of Felixstowe Dog Training Club have launched a campaign to try to encourage the good dog owners who do clean up after their pets to clean up after those who don’t sort out their animals’ mess.

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Club member Fred Simpson, who has been putting posters up around the town, said some people were taking part reluctantly.

“It’s reckoned that ten per cent of dog owners are irresponsible and don’t pick up their dog poos,” he said.

“The easiest way for the council to control this mess would be to introduce dog bans or use the legislation which exists to fine irresponsible owners �1,000 if they don’t clear up.

“What we really want to see is more of those who don’t pick up, picking up.”

The town council is investigating use of extra powers to control dog fouling and improved signs to make people aware of the problems.

Mike Porter, from Suffolk Coastal Services, is meeting the council this week to see if there is anything that they can do together and to investigate the scale of the problem.

? People can report irresponsible dog owners to SCS on 01394 444000.

? What should be the penalty for not clearing up after your dog? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail