Wardens are stepping up patrols in a Lancashire cemetery after complaints dog owners are allowing their pets to foul on graves.
A dog fouling enforcement officer funded by Morecambe Town Council will be working alongside Lancaster City Council to step up patrols of Torrisholme Cemetery and issue fixed penalties to anyone who is caught exercising their dog off a lead or who fails to pick up its mess.
Dog control orders are in place at all city council cemeteries meaning the grounds are not designated dog walking areas and any pets in the ground shave to be kept on a lead.
A walker can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty fine if they do not clean up after their dog or even prosecuted through the courts where the maximum fine is £1,000.
Despite there being numerous signs located throughout council cemeteries stating dogs should be kept on a lead at all times, and that dog fouling should be disposed of immediately in any of the cemetery bins, a number of dog walkers have chosen to ignore them.
Bill Jackson, chairman of the Friends of Torrisholme Cemetery, said: “The Friends of Torrisholme Cemetery are a voluntary group pledged to improving the environment at the cemetery and as such it is very disappointing for us to note the use of the cemetery by a small minority of irresponsible dog owners who choose to exercise their dogs, and then fail to clean-up.
“For many of our visitors a cemetery is a place of reverence and reflection. There is no place for dog fouling. It is certainly unacceptable in a cemetery. Please dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly!”
Coun Dave Brookes said: “One of the responsibilities of dog ownership is cleaning up after them. It may not be much fun, but it is a lot less disgusting than allowing other people to tread in it or find it on a grave. We are stepping up patrols of the cemetery, and with help from local residents and our cemeteries staff who work there on a regular basis, we hope to encourage these uncooperative dog walkers, by way of a fine if necessary, to do the right thing.”
Anyone with any information which may lead to those responsible for dog fouling in this cemetery or any other public place in the district should contact council’s dog warden service by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone – 01524 582757 so cases can be investigated and appropriate action taken.