New football pitch is ‘not a toilet for dogs’

A COMMUNITY leader in the Waterside has appealed for dog owners to find somewhere else to exercise their dogs.

Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:33 pm

Co-ordinator for Caw Nelson Drive Action Group, Linda Watson, said the group had been inundated with complaints about dog fouling on the new football pitch.

“The pitch at Nelson Drive is not due to be officially opened until July, but we have been inundated with complaints from people in the area about dog owners allowing their pets off the lead on the pitch. The problem is that the dogs are fouling on the pitch and the owners are not cleaning it up.

“We have been inundated with calls from concerned residents about the amount of dog fouling in the area generally, but especially on the pitch and especially during the good weather,” she said, adding: “The area had been fenced off by Derry City Council to keep dogs, quad bikers, and motorbikes off the pitch, but it has become apparent that local people are walking their dogs in the area, and then letting them off the lead within the fenced area. Now when teams are playing some of the players are slipping on the dog fouling and this is posing a major health issue.”

Ms Watson continued: “Dog fouling can cause blindness in children, and is also extremely unpleasant to walk never mind find it on your clothes, and those who are caught letting their animals foul are liable for a fine of up to £500.

“I am appealing to dog owners to keep their animals on the lead and to stay off the pitch please, it is not a dog’s toilet, and I am also appealing for the City Council to take a pro-active approach to anyone seen exercising their pet on the pitch and allowing them to foul the area, as this is health issue which cannot be allowed to continue,” she said.

“To those exercising their dogs in the Caw Nelson Drive area could I appeal to you please to take a plastic bag or a poop scoop with you and use it to pick up after your pets and take it home and bin it. Please do not allow your pets to foul on the streets or green areas around the estate. It is not just unsightly, it is also a health hazard.”