THE BLIGHT of dog fouling is not only unsightly, smelly and messy, it is also a health hazard.
Today The Mail is launching our Bag It! Bin It! Campaign urging all dog owners to clear up the mess left by their pets.
The campaign has been prompted by a string of residents contacting us fed up with having to face the problem.
The dog dirt is in the parks where our children play and it is in the streets where we walk to school or work.
Jenny Allen, of Norbury Close said: “I have a little girl who is four months. She is only young but I am worried about her future and the dog mess.”
Dog dirt hot spots identified by residents so far are Logan Street Recreation Ground, Tymecross Gardens, Little Bowden Rec’ and Queen Street.
Sarah Carr (31) is another mum, living in Queen Street who shares Mrs Allen’s concerns about the danger dog dirt poses to her child.
Miss Carr said: “It’s really just about people taking responsibility for their animals by keeping them on the leash and cleaning up after them.”
If ingested, toxins from dog dirt can lead to toxocariasis – an infection which can last up to 24 months with symptoms including eye disorders, asthma and epileptic fits.
Due to dog fouling, samples are often found in children’s play areas, meaning it most commonly effects children between 18 months and five years.
Mrs Allen (32) said she has had dog dirt trodden into her house several times and often sees children walking in it.
She said: “In the summer we’ll want to be taking our children outside more to parks and other public places but I just don’t know if it’s worth taking that risk to my child’s safety.
“I just find it so disgusting that people can’t be bothered to pick up after their pets.”
A spokesman for Harborough District Council, said: “There is no excuse not to pick up after your pets. We live in a lovely district and it is not fair that some dog owners seem to want to spoil that. Our enforcement officers can’t be everywhere at once, and we need the public’s help to tackle this issue.”
If dog fouling is happening in your area you can do something about it by reporting it to the council on 01858 821005.