Anti-dog mess campaign: Green bands plan

Blue the Wiemaraner models the collar every good dog will wish to be seen in.Picture: Toby Williams
Blue the Wiemaraner models the collar every good dog will wish to be seen in.Picture: Toby Williams
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Responsible dog owners are being urged to take the lead on cleaning up dog dirt in Scotland’s Capital by fixing a fluorescent green collar to their beloved pets.

The collars are part of the Edinburgh’s new Green Dog programme which aims to change attitudes about dog fouling.

Call our hotline to report dog fouling: 0300 4563476

Click here to download our poster

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Dogs can wear the new collars - available from the City Council - while neon armbands are also available for owners who want to display their green credentials.

The collars are the latest part of a campaign by the Evening News and the council to tackle the growing problem of dog dirt in the city.

Pet owners who take part in the scheme will be highlighting the problem and hopefully encouraging a change in attitude about dog fouling in a “non-confrontational, friendly way”, the council believe.

Dubbed the Green Dog Walkers Scheme, the concept was pioneered by Falkirk Council and deemed so successful it was adopted by several local authorities who noted a drop in dog fouling complaints, an increase in local cleanliness scores and positive reactions from the public. And it is opening a new front in the war on dog mess blighting the Capital’s streets.

Armband-sporting owners will be expected to carry extra waste bags to give to other dog walkers if approached.

Betty Milton, chairwoman of Sighthill, Broomhouse and Parkhead community council, said she hoped the project would raise awareness and remind dog owners to pick up after their pets.

She said: “I admire this and hope it has an effect, but I watch what goes on and can be a bit cynical sometimes.

“Ultimately dog dirt can blind children and I wish the Evening News all the best with this and really hope it works.”

Councillor Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader, backed the move and joked that the green armband and collar could unwittingly deter Hearts supporters.

He added: “This makes sense because picking up after your dog should be second nature. I welcome this scheme, though it’s important no stigma is attached to dog owners who don’t want to use the collar. People shouldn’t assume that if others don’t have the accessories they are not responsible dog owners.

“With that in mind it seems to be a good approach to increase visibility and public awareness of the campaign to clean up dog mess.

“Anything to get people to pick up after their dog is a good thing. If this helps it’s a welcome development.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment convenor, said the concept had a proven track record of 
success. She said: “Evidence from other local authorities which have adopted the Green Dog Walkers Scheme shows it has had a lot of success in tackling the anti-social issue of fouling. I would like to thank the many responsible dog walkers who do care about the environment and pick up waste. If anyone has any concerns about dog fouling, I urge them to call the Dish the Dirt hotline on 0300 456 3476.”

Green dog collars and 
armbands can be obtained though local environment wardens at the local neighbourhood office. The scheme will be rolled out through community groups, starting in the south.

BLITZ THE BLIGHT OF MESS MORONS

RESPONDING to a deluge of phone calls, emails and letters, the Evening News launched a new front in the war on dog mess with our Dish The Dirt campaign.

We have teamed up with the city council to target irresponsible owners who are leaving their pet’s dog mess behind.

Perpetrators caught by enforcement officers can be hit with £40 on-the-spot fines.

Dog fouling is one of the single biggest complaints raised by residents and the council is keen to encourage all dog owners to be responsible, and stop problems being experienced by pedestrians on city pavements and children in local parks blighted by dog dirt.