Owners carded for dogs' foul play
GRAPHIC images of dog dirt are being sent to hundreds of homes in Granton as part of a drive urging careless pet owners to clean up after their pooch.
• Environmental officer Andy Barnett
The hard-hitting postcard, which is divided into four picture panels, shows unwitting pedestrians about to step in dog dirt, as well as snaps of trampled faeces on city streets.
Launched by the council yesterday, the stomach-churning campaign will also see biodegradable graffiti, featuring an image of a dog squatting over the words "Don't make our city EdinbURGH!', spray painted on pavements across Forth ward.
• Do you like the council's new campaign to tackle dog fouling?
The 800 pilot scheme is initially homing in on the Boswall Parkway area but could be rolled out city-wide if it proves to be an effective deterrent in one of the Capital's worst-affected neighbourhoods.
• The council's graphic postcard
To back up the zero- tolerance message, environmental wardens will be out in force to remind dog walkers to pick up after their four-legged friends.
Ruth Stanley, a community safety manager for North Edinburgh, said dog fouling had long been a major gripe for residents there, but baulked at the suggestion the council had resorted to shock tactics.
"This is a city-wide problem but there are patches where it's worse, or where people feel more strongly about it," she said.
"It's hard to say whether this pilot will change people's behaviour but we think there are a lot of people who, if they realised it was having such a negative affect on other people, would maybe take more responsibility for their dog's mess.
"We have taken a little more light-hearted approach with this and think it will stand out and make people stop and pay attention."
Asked about people's reactions to the postcard, she said: "There may be those who say it's disgusting but I would say it's better having that on a leaflet than having it on the street."
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the council's environment leader, said the project aims to encourage responsible dog ownership.
He said: "More and more dog walkers are acting responsibly and this campaign is aimed at the hard core who have not yet got the message.
"Our environmental wardens are always on hand to encourage people to clean up after their pets. We want to promote a cleaner, greener city as well as offer helpful advice, which all contributes to making Edinburgh a beautiful place to live and visit."
The anti-dog fouling campaign is part of the wider Edinburgh project. Posters will be displayed in schools, libraries, doctor's surgeries and local shops while residents will also receive free poop scoops.
Currently, punishments for allowing a dog to foul on the street range from 40 on-the-spot penalties to criminal proceedings through the procurator fiscal.
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