Cheshire East Wistaston Councillors Margaret Simon and Jacquie Weatherill have launched their community Dog Watch scheme in the Joey the Swan area of Church Lane.
Dog Watch aims to encourage responsible dog ownership by engaging both dog owners and members of the public. They are supported by Hillside Veterinary Centre, Crewe Road, Nantwich, who have donated hundreds of ‘poo bag dispensers’ for distrubution to dog walkers. The Councillors, with Hillside Vet Nurse Bev Richards Community Warden Tim Beckett and Dog Warden Keith Massey, have put up ‘Dog Watch’ signs in the Joey the Swan area and handed out leaflets and wallet sized cards containing useful contact phone numbers enabling residents to report dog fouling incidents, report a straying dog, discuss dog related issues and a number of other Council services including general enquiries.
Margaret Simon says;
“Dog Watch is a very positive way of engaging the public and dog owners in addressing and taking responsibility for keeping our streets and open spaces free from dog fouling. I have two dogs of my own and, whilst I am out walking them, other dog owners often grumble about the amount of dog mess in certain parts of our local area. The idea of Dog Watch was mentioned to me by a fellow dog walker who was keen to see us implement an initiative to tackle the problem in a positive way. We chose to start at the Joey the Swan area because we have recently had a number of complaints about its public pathways. So far everyone who has taken the time to stop and speak to us about Dog Watch has been very pleased that we are doing something to try to reduce the problem of dog fouling. They have also suggested other areas close by that would benefit from Dog Watch. Clearly we are on the right track with this scheme.”
Jacquie Weatherill says;
“Perhaps unbelieveably, complaints about dog fouling are amongst the most common reason for residents to contact their Councillor. The Council often gets criticised for the small number of penalty notices it gives out for dog fouling but most residents would understand that our Wardens are unlikely to be ‘on the spot’ to witness every incidence. That’s why we need to work proactively with our residents. Our Ward covers a very large area, we have the Connect 2 pathways in our Ward and also the linear pathways and open spaces by Wistaston Mill, we intend to roll out Dog Watch in those areas in the very near future.”
“Vet Nurse Bev Richards, from Hillside says;
Everyone at Hillside is delighted to support Cllrs Simon and Weatherill in their Dog Watch scheme, responsible dog ownership is key to keeping our streets and open spaces clean. Picking up after your dog helps us to have clean and safe places for everyone to enjoy whether you are a dog owner or not. We are happy to donate the ‘poo bag dispensers’ to the Councillors to give away to dog owners. We would like to think that most dog owners already carry poo bags and we would also hope that all owners have their dogs microchipped so that their pet can be returned to them if it gets lost or strays. Hillside is working with the Dog’s Trust at the moment and is offering free microchipping for your dog until the end of the year.”
Community Warden Tim Beckett says;
“I think Dog Watch is a brilliant way to engage the public in a positive way. Joey the Swan is the ideal area to start this scheme as it is widely used by children, families, walkers and dog walkers. I’m looking forward to working with Cllrs Simon and Weatherill when they roll Dog Watch out to other areas in their Ward.”
“Whilst we were on the Joey the Swan pathway we came across a lost dog. It came to Cllr Simon and her two dogs but we quickly realised that his owner was not with him. Fortunately we were able to use the Microchip scanner on him and we were able to start the process trying to reunite him with his owner. Bev’s message about getting your dog microchipped is a very important one.”
The important Cheshire East contact numbers contained in the Dog Watch literature are:
To report a dog fouling incident or
To report a straying dog or
To discuss dog related issues – 0300 123 5021
For all other enquiries 0300 123 5500
If you would like to have your dog microchipped free, under the Dog’s Trust microchipping scheme, phone
Hillside Veterinary Centre on 01270 625310.