'Irresponsible' owners make Pontefract the worst place for dog mess in Wakefield district

Owners who don't clear up after their dog can be fined 50.
Owners who don't clear up after their dog can be fined 50.

More fines for dog mess have been issued in Pontefract than anywhere else in the Wakefield district over the last four years.

Wakefield Council has handed out a total of 60 fixed penalty notices to non-pooper scoopers since April 2015, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have shown.

Dog poo in a bag which has been thrown into a tree on Barley Cop Lane. Picture: Michelle Blade

Dog poo in a bag which has been thrown into a tree on Barley Cop Lane. Picture: Michelle Blade

Of these, more than half were issued to households in the Five Towns area, with 18 alone given to people living in the Pontefract North ward.

Anyone who fails to clean up after their dog is given an on-the-spot of £50, according to the council's website.

If they refuse to pay that, they can be taken to court and prosecuted, with the prospect of a bill up to £1,000.

Pontefract North councillor Clive Tennant described dog mess as a "horrendous problem".

Coun Clive Tennant said that dog fouling had been an issue in Pontefract Park.

Coun Clive Tennant said that dog fouling had been an issue in Pontefract Park.

"It is something you see as you go up and down the ward," he said.

“What disappoints me is seeing it when I walk through Pontefract Park. There’s bins there but some people aren’t using them.

“It’s the fault of the owners ultimately, it’s irresponsible. It's not nice for families.

“I’d like to see more enforcement. It’s particularly dangerous for children because it can blind them."

After Pontefract North, the council wards with the next highest number of foul fines were Normanton and South Elmsall and South Kirkby. Eight notices have been issued in each of these places since April 2015.

Featherstone and Wakefield South received six apiece.

On its website, the council said: "Dog poo carries serious health hazards such as toxocariasis which mainly affects children aged 1-4 years.

"Responsible dog ownership can prevent the spread of this infection and minimise the risk to the public."

In 2013, the local authority released an Abba parody video in a bid to urge people to clean up their mess.

'Pooper Scooper', a skit on the 1980 hit 'Super Trouper', featured the council's Cabinet member for the environment Maureen Cummings, officers and local volunteers.

Residents can report dog mess anonymously at http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/community/dog-wardens/report-dog-fouling.

By numbers

Fines issued for dog fouling by ward since April 2015

Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton - 0

Airedale and Ferry Fryston - 1

Altofts and Whitwood - 0

Castleford Central and Glasshoughton - 1

Crofton, Ryhill and Walton - 1

Featherstone - 6

Hemsworth - 2

Horbury and South Ossett - 0

Knottingley - 4

Normanton - 8

Ossett - 0

Pontefract North - 18

Pontefract South - 0

South Elmsall and South Kirkby - 8

Stanley and Outwood East - 1

Wakefield East - 0

Wakefield North - 2

Wakefield Rural - 0

Wakefield South - 6

Wakefield West - 1

Wrenthorpe and Outwood West - 0

Local Democracy Reporting Service