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Dinsdale: ‘…it’s absolutely disgusting!’

The extent of the problem on the old Scalloway road - Photos: SIC

SHETLAND Islands Council is stepping up its campaign to clean the islands of dog fouling.

Over the next few weeks environmental health officers will be out in strength patrolling hot spots and spraypainting stencils on pavements telling dog owners to “clean it up”.

These stencils are part of the campaign.

Environmental health team leader Patti Dinsdale said that despite numerous campaigns, dog fouling was “still a massive problem” across Shetland.

“We have hotspot areas such as the old Scalloway road between the Brig o’ Fitch and the Black Gaet where people leave bagged dog faeces. It is absolutely disgusting.

“People pull up and let their dogs go. About half the people baggage their dog poo and half don’t. We were horrified when we put the signs down this week.

“We actually went back this morning and cleared that area. We picked up 38 kilograms of dog faeces. That is disgusting,” she said.

She added that some dog owners have changed their behaviour in that they were bagging up the dog poo, but then left the bags hanging from fence posts in the hope that the council would pick them up.

This is how 38 kilos of dog poo looks like.

“For example at the entrance to the Sands of Sound, people dump their rubbish and hang bags of dog faeces on the fence there. I can’t imagine anybody wants to walk past that.

“It is a private road, and the council’s essy cart does not go down there because they are not insured to do so,” Dinsdale said.

She said the campaign would take her officers all over Shetland from Aith in the west to Quendale in the south.

“People are fed up to their back teeth with this. There is still a small number of dog owners out there who still don’t still clean up.”

She said her department had started a Facebook page, which was regularly updated to document the extent of the problem in the hope that the message would be shared via social media.

Environmental health officers are also hosting a ‘Dogs and more…’ event in the Tesco car park between 11am and 3pm, on Wednesday, offering free health checks by a vet, dog treats and information, stickers and advice.