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Dogs, continued

From Susanne Jeffries

Friday, 23 January 2015

I have just arrived home from work and have yet again trod in a huge pile of dog poo in the park as I was walking back from the train station. Why is this situation not under control? It causes me such stress and I am of a fragile demeanour.

Does anyone know who I can report this to? I may contact our local MP to see if a CCTV system could be set up in the park so there would be some way of prosecuting the dog owners. Any good folk of Hebden agree? Please help!

From Dan Queruntur

Sunday, 25 January 2015

I've lived in Hebden all my life and have definitely seen the number of dogs in the town increase. Although I have no problem with dogs, I have a problem with the large number of dog owners who are happy to leave their dog mess on pavements and parks. I live up Fairfield and there are a number of regular offenders. You know who you are.

From Mel P

Sunday, 25 January 2015

I am disgusted with the amount of dog mess that is occurring in Hebden Bridge, I've lived here 5 years and it is getting worse.

I am a dog owner myself, I pick up her mess, it's not difficult. It takes seconds.

I have a toddler she has just started talking and now when we walk up and down our road ( keighley Road) all she talks about is dog poo. She knows what it is and how it should be picked up and she is not yet 2. It's disgusting and it's everywhere, I am forever running through it with the pushchair and walking with a toddler is a nightmare. Coming out of the little park we nearly stepped in some.

Please dog owners It's not that hard to pick up your dogs mess, you live here respect it. It is so nasty and so dangerous and totally avoidable if people picked it up.

From Andrew D

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Calderdale seem to have no interest in enforcing existing bylaws about this, I imagine it might be a vote loser. Hebden is the worse place in the country I have visited for dog mess. There was even a big one left in the square on Sunday right next to the Christmas tree.

There seem to be two lots of irresponsible owners. The too posh to pick up lot, who manage to just not notice when their off the lead pet is doing a quick one but who would not like to think of themselves as anti-social and the lot who don't notice or care much about anything.

Without vigorous enforcement and a few high profile prosecutions I can't see it changing much.

From Damon Jones

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Oh how I agree! The amount of dog mess in and around Hebden is disgusting to say the least. I was walking down from Fairfield this morning and counted 7 separate piles of the stuff on my way down to the Post Office. As I was walking near the park I saw at least 6 dogs running around freely - no leads! It's outrageous! I will be contacting my local councillor and MP as I am so sick and tired of this situation. I am in the process of organising a petition. This situation needs to be resolved asap. Does anyone agree?

From Andy G

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I fully agree that the dog mess problem in Hebden seems to be out of control and has become much worse in recent months. As well as being a health hazard and a slipping hazard, and very unpleasant if it comes into your or someone else's house on your shoes, it damages the reputation of the majority of responsible dog owners who do pick up after their pets.

I recently visited Whalley in Lancashire and noticed that somebody there had been going round highlighting piles of dog poo on the pavements by spray painting them bright orange. This obviously highlights the problem and makes it more visible during the hours of darkness, but the downside is that, long after the offending mess has disappeared, you are left with lots of dog poo-silhouetted orange patches all over the town's pavements!

From Eleanor Land

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I agree with all the posts on this subject. Hebden Bridge is the worst place I have ever visited for irresponsible dog owners. I used to live on Fairfield, and Palace House Road and Wood Top Road are plastered with excrement for most of the year. The fact that the Council turn a blind eye to it is disgraceful.

Maybe we need to elect different councillors next time.

I am more than willing to sign your petition Damon.

From Ray Cummins

Thursday, 29 January 2015

To The Dog Foulers of Hebden Bridge

The scourge of our valley is all around,
It sticks to your feet in fair Hebden town,
For the shadowy dog owners who lurk unseen
Our streets are becoming their dog's latrine
Fairfield, Palace House and also Wood Top
Are epicentres of Hebden Bridge plop

Calder Holme Park adjacent the school
Is also favourite for doggy stool
This popular park is an utter disgrace
Mess is all around in this public place
Mums walk their kids - but can't prevent,
Them stepping in heaps of excrement

The towpath is another walk to avoid
Probably the worst walk in Hebden Royd
The furtive owners – they couldn't care less
About leaving these piles of doggy mess
This lovely place - the pride of our valley
It ought to be re-named Skid Pan Alley

We know you're are a public threat
It's also likely you don't worm your pet
For children there are nasty eggs
Lurking in those faecal dregs
Toxocara Canis is the term
Otherwise known as dog roundworm

Ingested by kids from doggy mess
Could mean loss of eyesight or even death
HB residents have had enough
Of owners who leave their doggy stuff
Your pet is not the one to blame
You are the one we need to shame,

We're on your case - whoever you are,
You've stretched our patience much too far
Scoop the poop – it's easy to do
We're fed up with piles of steaming poo
The cost to you should not be high
Disposable bags are cheap to buy

Pets at Home – 4 rolls 3 pounds
Learn to scoop the noxious mounds
Then bag to bin – it's an easy task
Surely not too much to ask
For you this message should now be clear
We've had your xxxx right up to here

From Catie G

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Well said Ray Cummins. The amount of times I have seen up Wood Top Road dog mess in poo bags yes in poo bags and left on the road or thrown into the wood at the top side so when it rains the bags end up back in the road.

Why pick up the mess, bag it then just leave it or throw it into the wood? Why not instead if the people who do this when walking their mutts up that area take a trowel pick up the mess and tip it over the lower side.

There are no paths down in that side of the road so it to my mind makes more sense than leaving it either on the road or in bags. It would eventually wash away in the rain. I have reported this to the council along with fly tipping and all the council reply is they need names and addresses of the offenders or a description (think they mean the person or dog not the mess). I have never seen anyone yet. Maybe CCTV would be the answer. Surely there is CCTV on the park and around the streets in Hebden. I am more than happy to sign any petitions going

From Steve Redfern

Friday, 30 January 2015

I have lived in St Georges Square now for 10 years now and the dog mess has become a real problem. The mess in the square most of the time is caused by one dog owner.

I have contacted the council and I have to supply a lot of info which I do not have. I cannot follow the owner home for the address as she is a teenage girl and I am not a detective. The dog in question is a large muscular tan colour short haired dog and not many about.

This is a major embarrassment for the town centre and its outskirts. Kids play in the square and being kids, half the time they are rolling about.

I fear the council are not that interested. Shame on them and apologies to the tourists.

From Andrew D

Friday, 30 January 2015

It would be nice if one of our elected representatives or paid officials could make their opinion on this known on the forum.

From Fred Jones

Friday, 30 January 2015

What a wonderful poem . . . brilliant! I live on the Fairfield side of Hebden Bridge and I can honestly tell you all I have trodden in 12 separate huge steaming piles of dog poo in the last 6 months alone.

It is disgusting and the owners of the dogs should be fined. I am willing to sign the petition Damon, could I have your details please? Ta, Fred.

From Ray Cummins

Dog Fouling (A Call to Arms)

We're all well aware of HB residents distress
And that appeals to culprits have little success
But what to do about this latter day plague
Is somewhat more difficult to define and engage
The Council make noises but seem impotent
To tackle this problem with any serious intent

It's likely most dumping is due to a few
Of repeat offenders - who don't give a poo
More drastic measures we need to employ
To find, punish, and bad habits destroy
This is hard to do and easy to say
But people power can win the day

Vigilant citizens can catch the crime
With camera/phone ready - at the time
Facial shots help the Council inspector
A video image - an even better detector
So angry citizens gird up your loins
There's a war to be won - a battle to join

The 'hot spots' above are identified
Citizen groups should now organise
Teams of 8 or more should stay
On hourly shifts throughout the day
Working folks of course can't do this
But there's sure to be many who can assist

Peak times are normal for doggy toilettes
Morning and evening are likely best bets
Discrete surveillance should be the key
The watchword should be - anonymity
Do not confront - or attention attract
Foulers may turn nasty if caught in the act

Officialdom may view all this with alarm
But this problem needs action - a call to arms
Relying on Councils to do this work
Is like asking a bin man to clear up road dirt
If nothing is done these posts will appear
Again and again - and year after year.

From Catie G

Friday, 30 January 2015

I have emailed a request to Hebden Royd town hall councillors to request action but i am not holding my breath . Will update if I get a response. Maybe if everyone sent a request to it might cause a re-action - see this page

From Kevin Taylor

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Thank goodness this disgusting problem is finally being properly spoken about.

I was walking back from Hebden to Birchcliffe the other evening and saw a huge rotweiler on a lead with its owner. The dog stood still in the middle of the pavement and had a massive runny poo. I approached the owner as he walked away with the dog and asked him if he would be cleaning the mess up to which he replied, 'What the f ... has it got to do with you?' Despicable behaviour. I should have made a citizens arrest. Am more than willing to sign the petition.

From Steve Sweeney

Saturday, 31 January 2015

It is fine to write to Hebden Royd Councillors. But what do you expect them to do? The thoughtless behaviour of some people with dogs is not something that can be dealt with other than by the offenders. If you can come up with an effective and realistic solution you will become a national celebrity.

From Andy M

Monday, 2 February 2015

How about a 'gallery of shame' - get your 'phones out and snap the culprits - on a suitable /new web page?

From Meg Rumbell

Monday, 2 February 2015

Enforcement of laws on dog fouling is currently notoriously difficult because of the problem of proving that a particular owner of a particular dog is guilty. Testing of dog stools for a dog's DNA is becoming a possibility however.

In 2016 micro chipping of dogs becomes compulsory in the UK and DNA swabs could be taken at the same time and added to a dog database enabling quick identification of dog stools. Only a marble sized stool sample is apparently required.

It appears some enabling legislation will be necessary however, because presently taking a DNA swab from a dog requires the owner's consent - and it's likely that some owners would object, making for an incomplete database. The objecting owners would more than likely be the 'couldn't care less' ones - responsible owners would have nothing to fear. Once the DNA is on the database it stays there for the life of the dog.

Several councils in the UK have started investigating these possibilities, and the technology has allegedly been used successfully in America, Canada, Israel and Singapore - though it appears to be mainly in apartment blocks and estates rather than within say a whole town or city.

However, this technology does appear to offer a quick and relatively cheap solution to a widespread problem, which regularly features as a major issue raised by residents in every council area in the land. As soon as it becomes known that DNA testing is being used, most of the problem allegedly disappears and enforcement measures and fines are minimal.

From Rob Blake

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Dog poo left on the pavement is just one of many problems that we face thanks to the overwhelming selfishness shown by many in our so called modern society. This is not just confined to dog owners either. The river is choked with empty plastic bottles chucked in by teenagers. The woods are scarred by the constant fly tipping and littering.

At least dog poo breaks down in a few weeks, plastic bottles hang around in the rivers and oceans for decades if not longer.

I think the only way to fight this plague is for each of us to swallow our pride and do the decent thing - if it bothers you, pick it up. There is a small chance we can shame the culprits into picking it up themselves if they see the community doing it for them. I've seen poo and litter patrols doing this in other places (on the telly).

The Hebden Royd spring clean is an annual event but I try to keep the spirit of it going all year round. Plastic litter is my particular focus because the oceans are choked with it and there is just so much of it. I will pick up poo also, especially the stuff that has been kindly wrapped in a bag before being discarded ;-). A couple of years ago I removed more than one hundred of those little black bags in a single afternoon from the cycle track between Mytholmroyd and Brearley. If everyone in this thread picked up a couple of poos a week then we would no longer have a problem and we would all feel so much better.

From A Rudkin

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Well said Rob. I too pick up other peoples dog poo, but draw the line at picking up litter. Its too dangerous, if I sustain a cut from broken glass or a rusty can the wound could become infected and I could die.

According to Wikipedia 61,000 deaths were caused by tetanus infections in 2010. New Scientist reports less than 20 non fatal infections from Toxicariasis per year, not all related to dog poo.

So take care if you join in Hebden Royd spring clean, wear thick gloves if picking up broken glass or cans left by lazy people who expect dog owners to carry bags of poo home but cannot carry a clean can of coke to the nearest bin.

As well as the Spring Clean Hebden Royd hold an annual Happy Hounds day in the park, where they encourage micro-chipping and good dog owner behavior. They do not have powers to apprehend litter louts or dog owners, that is up to Calderdale Council and the Police, who have more important things to deal with like drug taking and alcoholic induced anti social behavior in the park

From Anya J

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

I think the idea of a gallery of shame page is a great idea. There are some regular culprits about, for example an extremely tall, thin lady with short hair who has two large skinny dogs with her has been allowing her dogs to poo all over the valley for many years. I have once asked her would she pick the mess up and got a load of verbal from her - she would soon change her behaviour if she knew her "right on image" could be tarnished with a few snaps of her leaving her doggy poos.

From Meg Rumbell

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

I admire anyone who makes the effort to clean up litter and dog mess. However, I think that dealing with other people's ordure is something that sticks in the craw of most people. It may also simply encourage more of the same from the foulers - if someone is going to pick up your dog poo why bother to do it yourself. By all means clean up waste if you are so inclined, and it is very creditable, but the threat of detection and heavy penal sanctions for the irresponsible are an absolute necessity to my mind - which is what the DNA testing is all about.

There is little doubt that dog fouling does cause outrage seemingly out of all proportion to the crime. But dog mess gets on your shoes, into your car, onto your carpets at home, onto children's push chairs, onto invalid carriages, onto bike wheels, and even on your hands as you attempt to clean it off. It smells disgusting - and it sticks like sXXX.

No wonder people complain so vociferously about it. It is an immediate and disgusting problem which everyone, and I mean everyone, has experienced many times over - that is unless they never venture into the outside world. Litter and tin cans are obviously also a big environmental problem, and I wouldn't want to minimise that, but they don't provoke quite the same outrage that dog mess does.

Incidentally, no one should be discouraged from picking up litter by the prospect of contracting tetanus. The 61,000 deaths quoted above is a world wide figure. Only seven cases of tetanus were reported in England and Wales in 2013; 6 in England and 1 in Wales - and there were no deaths during this period. Deaths from tetanus in the UK are now very rare.

From N. Fletcher

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

As a dog owner and dog walker we do visit the park everyday to allow dogs to socialise and become well mannered members of the town.
Responsible owners watch their dogs carefully when running around and playing and pick up any mess.

However - I myself have seen dogs the other side of the park to the owner and have mentioned it and been told none of my business. I have also had dogs running round with no visible owner attacking my dogs.
And there's a few young men in the evening with certain dogs who sit and drink while their dogs run round and take no notice of them.

I try to pick up other dogs' mess but there's only so many times you can put your hand in cold poo. It's not nice!

On the other hand - come summer, before I can let any dogs off I will have to go round with a bin bag and pick up bottles, wrappers and other rubbish.

And if Calderdale Council or another person would like to pay my vet bill for my dog treading on a dirty needle near the play park? I also put my health at risk having to then pick the needle up and carry it to a suitable disposable point with it still having the needle in it and some liquid.

It is a minority of owners who are irresponsible and it's those owners who will ignore any rules you give. My dog and those we walk with are chipped and wear ID tags and are well behaved. We would also agree to dna tests but it's the owners who are doing the fouling who will be the ones to refuse.

Most people know my dog as the labrador who carries a teddy and will have seen her around.

So please don't put all owners under the same category.

From Isla S

Thursday, 5 February 2015

I am a dog owner and always pick up after my dog wherever I am. I can also vouch for Nicole picking up! I live in Mytholmroyd where Stubbs field (Community owned and run) has a poo bag dispenser sponsored by the local vets and a bin at all 4 entrances. This has reduced the amount of dog owners not picking up and encouraged picker uppers to confront non picker uppers. It is also useful for the odd occasion I forget to pick up poo bags before going out.

I also struggle to buy poo bags locally, other than the pet shop in Hebden, nowhere sells them. The half hearted attempt by Calderdale to put poo bag dispensers up like the one by Riverside school, fell flat as they are never refilled.

Yes there are a lot of irresponsible dog owners out there but by installing dispensers and bins, it makes it harder for them to deny their (dogs) poo! Perhaps its a business opportunity for either the Lampost or the Petshop to sponsor poo bag dispensers!

From Josephine Hartley

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Poo bags can be bought on the Thursday market in Hebden Bridge. I usually pay £1 for 100 for but there are other options and I always have 3 or 4 in the pockets of all my coats.

From Paul Rigg

Friday, 6 February 2015

This is one of those eternal complaints, There have of course been several threads before. Someone pops up complaining about dog mess and then two or three dog owners pop up saying that it's not them it's the irresponsible owners (whoever they are!)

Short of employing hundreds of dog wardens all over the place to supervise these errant canine owners I think there is little that could be done. It's just part of living in the dog loving uk.

From Tim B

Friday, 6 February 2015

I think it is a more obvious problem at this time of year. It freezes and is preserved for weeks. In the summer there are loads of slugs and soil microbes that eat it within days, it also gets hidden in long grass and weeds.

From Martin W

Friday, 6 February 2015

Would you pay £0.10 per week to solve this problem?

I came across a fabulous scheme in a small Utopian town which operates in tandem with a consistent message for dog owners to continue picking up after their dogs.

How it works.

Principal pedestrian routes and areas are identified and a cleaning frequency agreed with a specialist local community Contractor.

Contractor operatives manually remove all dog waste from the areas every day, during typical early morning street cleaning hours (normally 2 hours per day). They are extremely well paid and flexible, local workers. They use specialist equipment and following their two hour shift are met centrally by a collection vehicle.

All pickup sites are spot sprayed with (eco) sterilising fluids.

The waste is taken daily to a local farm (who operate a Waste Carriers Licence) for safe disposal.

How it is funded:-

The Contractor provides small coin-only collection boxes for civic buildings and local businesses, who undertake to bank the contents weekly (on an honesty basis, along with their own takings). Businesses encourage their customers to contribute small change when they make purchases.

Those with a specific commercial interest in the use of identified areas are encouraged to contribute modestly on-line.

Local Councils, Vets and Community Groups (many of whom use the Parkland spaces) are lobbied directly for slightly larger, regular contributions.

In Year 2 of the scheme, the Contractor provided around a dozen dog waste bins and added the daily emptying and sanitising of these to their contract.

The scheme is very profitable for the Contractor, the Farmer and the improvement to the Town has been fundamental. It was proven that the average contribution per person per week was around £0.10.

Anyone interested in a franchise?

From Chris Barnett

Friday, 6 February 2015

I know that treading in dogshit is pretty unpleasant, but for God's sake let's get things in perspective. We live in a country (and a world) that both seem to be heading for hell in a speeding handcart.

What gets the good people of Hebden Bridge up in arms? Capitalism, Racism, Poverty, Injustice, War, Famine, Pestilence? A bit perhaps, but not as much as dogshit. I despair, I really do.

From Elleigh C

Friday, 6 February 2015

On Thursday my friends 2 year old picked up a dog turd that had been kindly left in the park just outside the gate to the playground. So for some it may not be a big deal, but for my mate who was up all night with a sick toddler, well, she couldn't fight world poverty the next day as she was too tired.

From Rob Blake

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Martin W - sounds fantastic. Could you send me more details?

From Eleanor Land

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Just because people wish to discuss the very real problem with dog dirt in this town, doesn't mean they aren't concerned with the problems of the world. Concern about our immediate environment does not preclude us from thinking about other problems and to suggest it does is a tad patronising. Unfortunately, I have very little influence on capitalism, racism etc but I may have more luck in influencing some of my dog owning neighbours to act a little more responsibly.

From Andy M

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Well, maybe Chris Barnett, living in privileged Hebden, we don't actually experience much capitalism, racism, poverty, injustice, war, famine and pestilence . . . but we do have to live with a lot of dogshit.

From A Rudkin

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Can Martin W provide details of which Utopian Town runs a dog poo clean up scheme.

From Jill Robinson

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Someone has taken it upon themselves to paint large yellow circles along a track in Mytholmroyd. I think they must be to indicate dog poo, but most of the poo has dissolved /decayed /eroded - whatever it does - while the yellow circles remain. I almost feel like telling my dog to go inside the circles so that they have something to indicate . . . (of course I won't).

From Catie G

Sunday, 8 February 2015

And yet again more black plastic bags full of dog crap left on Woodtop Road just in line of where cars wheels will run . None at 12.00 noon but some at 2.30 pm so the phantom dog poo picker up and dumps it person strikes again and in broad daylight as well. If I see who is doing this I may just see about if possible filming them and passing it onto our hard working councillors so they actually have no excuse but to deal with the issues.

From Rob Blake

Monday, 9 February 2015

Catie G - The simplest solution is to just pick it up and pop it in a bin.

I promise you will feel much better and it's a lot less hassle than stalking the culprits so you can film them at it.

There is no way that the council or anyone else can stop people dropping these poo bags or any of the other litter that festoons the valley.

Positive action is the only realistic answer.

From Anne H

Monday, 9 February 2015

Most of us want the council to spend their dwindling resources on things we can't do for ourselves, like providing social care, mending potholes etc.
So we have to clean up after ourselves and - as with litter - some people drop it and others pick it up. I hate picking up other people's dog's poo, but as part of a community effort (with gloves, a log-handled shovel and disinfectant!) I'd happily do it, knowing it was going to make the environment more pleasant and safer.

I think one of the reasons people don't pick up is they think 'everybody does it, so it must be OK'. In some places there is so much poo it must look like that, but a proper clean of the pavements and roadsides might make them think 'nobody lets their dog poo around here, I'd better pick it up' either through a desire to conform or a desire not be found out or shown up.

From Ray Cummins

Monday, 9 February 2015

The spraying of yellow circles around dog plop reminds me of a surreal sight at Ogden Water country park a few years ago. Someone had encouraged the local school kids to plant little yellow flags on every dog stool they found - presumably to highlight the problem.

Now, as every dog owner well knows, dog tend to mess shortly after leaving their car (most people use transport to get to Ogden - it being fairly remote). The sight of literally hundreds of yellow flags adorning the sides of the tracks radiating from the car park was indeed an amazing sight. I hadn't got my camera with me unfortunately, but wish I had filmed it - it would have featured as a favourite screen saver on my computer.

Ogden is warden and council controlled, so I presume this was instigated by the council - a weird act to my mind. No doubt it provided plenty of attention for the dog turds, but I doubt it would have much effect on the foulers.

From Sally D

Monday, 9 February 2015

I agree Rob. I think that the thoughtless owners are just not going to pick up the poo or throw away the bags. These are people who are going to do it regardless as they are thoughtless and ignorant. As I usually have a pocketful of poo bags with me I not only pick up after my dog but I will also pick up at least 1 other deposit as well. I know it's not going to stop them doing it but I'd rather do that on our walks than have mess on our streets.

From Rob Blake

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

On a related note, the 2015 Hebden Royd spring clean is currently looking for participants. (See HebWeb News, 9 Feb). If anyone reading this fancies a bit of positive action please on contact Hannah Dobson to get an application form.

From Eleanor Land

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

I trod in yet another load when collecting my Grandson from school this afternoon, it was in the entrance to Riverside School. These people couldn't give a toss if they are willing to let their dog defecate in the path of small children. If as suggested I start picking other people's crap for them, why would they ever learn to pick up after their own dogs. I'd like to see severe penalties for these irresponsible people via hefty fines. They are despicable.

From Paul D

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Surely one way to deal with the waste is quite simply to get rid of the damned dog? It eats it poos, barks at a butterfly, and no doubt fills a hole in the life of the emotionally stunted. Don't get one and it's all more simple.

From Steve Redfern

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Good news from St Georges Square is that no dog crap has been dumped for at least a week which could well be down to this forum.

If some people think others should go around picking the awful stuff up,its a big fat zero from me.

There is a very good reason why most humans find the stuff disgusting, its hard wired into our brains to say, keep well away.

As for the stuff decomposing, (in the town centre at least) it doesn't get the chance because it's trodden in and out of the shops and disperses that way.

I know of a few dog owners that having to take the dog out is a chore rather than a joy,so why do they have them, god only knows.
on a active front, my camera is out and ready.

From Rob Blake

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

My final contribution to the thread, just to make it clear that I love dogs. I was a dog owner until just over a year ago when daisy got run over outside the house. When our old cat finally goes I will be getting another dog.

We all have out pet hates (if you pardon the pun). Some hate dogs, some hate cars and car drivers. For others it might be noisy nieghbours or whatever.

My policy is to live and let live, and to try to be positive.

Events like the Hebden Royd Spring clean give us a chance to make a contribution to the community and together we can easily make up for the misdeeds of a few.

Picking up litter and poo is actually really therapeutic. It does everybody good to be a little humble from time time.

From Meg Rumbell

Thursday, 12 February 2015

It's interesting that no council members have put their head above the parapet to comment on this thread - despite dog fouling being the main issue complained about by residents in all surveys.

It's possibly not common knowledge, but dog wardens and patrols are not the only ones who can apprehend dog foulers. Many council workers are specifically authorised to issue FPNs (Fixed Penalty Notices) if they spot an offender. They are deemed authorised officers, and to be able to issue an FPN for fouling they have to carry their ID and the appropriate paperwork. These officers, and patrols, (which are and few and far between) together with the ubiquitous plastic dog fouling warning signs, are the major part of the councils strategy - and they do not seem to be particularly effective. I've not seen any statistics for the catching of offenders but I expect they are very low.

It also seems to me an awful lot of ratepayer's money is wasted in putting up threatening signs - they appear to be all over the place. They also appear to be widely ignored. One I know of has been clamped to a telegraph pole on a road adjacent to a farmer's cow shed. The road is not a particularly favoured route for dog walkers and is invariably well endowed with cow plop as the cows get moved about. How the council can hope to prosecute a dog owner amongst this lot baffles me.

These signs threaten fines of £1,000 which only applies if an offender is taken to court - the normal FPN penalty is £50 if paid promptly - £ 80 if not. I've seen signs with bags of plop hanging from them, and also smeared with what looks like the contents of such bags. If the chances of being caught are very low, then human nature being what it is, signs that threaten people will tend to get the two fingered response. Cocking a snook at authority can be very satisfying for many - particularly teenagers.

Until the council gets it's act together and comes up with a real deterrent, I fear this problem will be with us for ever. Imagination and a new approach is what is required - councils are not renowned for either.

From Allen Keep

Friday, 13 February 2015

While I tend to agree that it would be good to see folk more exercised (pardon the pun) about life's bigger issues it is good to see (as a dog owner) that people's genuine concerns about dog poo have not given way to the usual pro/anti dog feuding that can spoil a worthwhile discussion.

I certainly don't want to encourage such a feud by responding but it is really quite offensive to label dog lovers as emotionally stunted.

From Steve Sweeney

Friday, 13 February 2015

Actually I did a couple of weeks ago and I am a Calderdale councillor for Todmorden. As I said then if anyone could come up with a realistic solution that would be great.

For enforcement of fines etc. the number of people required is financially prohibitive. All that can happen is the occasional person being fined. Think about how many Police Officers are employed and how few crimes are committed when they happen to be watching. You can be certain that dog fouling is much more prevalent round here than crime.

The only solution is to persuade people to change their behaviour. For many years it seemed to be a reducing problem but I have noticed it has got worse in the last couple of years.

From Isla S

Friday, 13 February 2015

Steve that is not the only solution. As per my earlier post, the council refilling existing and installing more poo bag dispensers has improved the situation in Mytholmroyd. If there is a poo bag dispenser with a bin attached people have no excuse!

From Graham Barker

Friday, 13 February 2015

Two things might make a difference.

Several years ago when Tony Wright was our environmental warden, he used to go round town with a fat stick of chalk, drawing circles round piles of poo on the pavement. That was an inspired way of dropping a hint to owners who would most likely take the same dog-walking route daily. The circles basically said, 'Don't think we haven't noticed.' Maybe we should all start carrying chalk round with us to apply a bit of peer pressure.

Of more practical help would be dog poo bins sited prominently along popular dog-walking routes. Dogs usually empty themselves early on when they're taken out, leaving owners with a choice of leaving it lie or carrying a bag full of poo for the whole of a perhaps long walk. A network of bins might make a significant difference. They'd need emptying periodically of course, so there would be an upkeep cost. But life would be easier for responsible owners, and the rest would have less of an excuse to duck their responsibilities.

From Meg Rumbell

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Isla and Graham both make very pertinent observations concerning the siting of waste bins and poo bags. The council bins generally are sited for the convenience of the bin men who collect them i.e. at car park entrances. Using the parlance of business - the poo bin service is supply - rather than demand led. Bins should be sited at the point of maximum need i.e. where dogs usually crap rather than at the point of maximum convenience for collection.

Asking a unionised council employee to walk half a mile down a towpath, or across Calder Park to empty a bin however, would be perceived as the ultimate insult. The council has to get real to the fact that 1 in 3 households own a dog (and that means 1 in 3 ratepayers) and that they need to walk their dogs. The council are quite capable of erecting threatening signs on dog walker routes but not prepared to service their needs by providing suitably located bins.

But it will cost a fortune to organise collections they will cry. Wrong again.

I'm very impressed by the number of car wash stations that have sprung up around the place in the last few years who employ young lads doing a wet, dirty and very arduous job for not much money. These lads are generally of foreign extraction, and - dare I say it - immigrants. They do this work because they have little choice with their poor grasp of English. I'm sure that collecting poo bins for the council would be, by comparison, a walk in the park (so to speak) - a job for which they would be very grateful.

There are other possibilities of course. Retired but still active pensioners looking to supplement their income, people on community service, students looking for holiday work etc. The job is unskilled, easily learned and can be paid by results i.e. number of bins emptied, and also done at times to suit the applicant. It would also provide healthy work for obese individuals looking to lose a bit of weight.

Of course the council bureaucratic mindset would immediately raise roadblocks. It would be casual labour, the unions would object, they would need insurance, protective clothing, disposal issues etc. etc. and blah, blah, blah.

All these things can be overcome with a bit of imagination and a will to solve the problem. And I repeat yet again - dog sxxx is the top issue raised by residents at every survey done.

Councillor Sweeney's "only solution is to change behaviour" is no a solution at all. Changing people's behaviour without some sort of coercion is one of the hardest things to do - as any doctor in the NHS will testify.

From Chris B

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free: and your immigrants, your pensioners (active), your students and your fat people, and let them pick up our dogshit in Hebden Bridge. Yes, I'm still despairing.

From Meg Rumbell

Monday, 16 February 2015

I feel for Chris B and his existential despair at the problems of the world - poverty, famine, pestilence etc but can't see any useful way to solve them from where I sit - except perhaps to say that money spent by the council on providing unskilled work for some people might perhaps help pay their gas bills.

Don't see too many tired, poor or huddled masses short of oxygen either, but there again I'm probably just a myopic, unreconstructed capitalist, just trying to keep dogshit off my Gucci shoes.


From Paul Clarke

Monday, 16 February 2015

I have views on global issues but I also resent doing the hideous task of scraping dog muck from the tread on my child's trainer because some selfish clown can't be bothered to be a good citizen.

There is no contradiction in being angry about both and to suggest otherwise misunderstands what it is be part of a community.

I am heartened by the anger of dog owners who do the right thing but lord known why they feel the need to clean up other people's dogs fouling. It is bizarre enough wanting to pick up warm excrement when it your dog but it is very odd if you do it for someone else.

Sadly the sort of people who own dogs and let them foul are the sort of people who will never listen to reason or appeals to their better nature because they simply don't have one.

They have less morals than the animals they allow to foul with no thought for others.

From Allen Keep

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

As the old Monty Python joke illustrates ("how do you know he's the king?") the poor are never far away from life's effluence and I guess they should be grateful for actually being paid to be amongst it - especially if they don't speak our language like immigrants (whispers) or are people of "foreign extraction" blissfully unencumbered by concerns of health and safety and insurance (and other bureaucratic impediments to their exploitation).

I see nothing "existential" about Chris B's issues nor any sense of a lack of understanding of community – I see a reasonable plea for a sense of perspective. If, as Meg suggests, dog poo is the number one issue for residents of HB then we do have a problem Huston.

Of course, residents (including dog owners) are quite right to be angry about dog poo; it's disgusting - which makes it all the more amazing that some people are prepared to pick up others' mess. I would have thought being applauded for their community spirit rather than being labelled as bizarre would have been a more appropriate reward - but then it's often strange to see what lurks below the surface of resentment.

From Meg Rumbell

Friday, 20 February 2015

Well of course it's not the most pleasant job in the world emptying dog poo bins (note - emptying not picking up) but there are thousands of people in the UK doing work involving cleaning up other peoples mess viz: sewer maintenance workers, sewage works staff, foul drain cleaners, plumbers, drainage contractors etc.

In fact one could almost call it a noble profession - unsung perhaps but vital to the smooth operation of our modern society. I see nothing wrong in the council employing people to empty poo bins - it's nothing like as bad as some of the above tasks - and it's outside in the fresh air.

If you really want to see the poor getting close to the effluent I recommend you Google these images of Indian sewer divers - and thank the lord we only need people to empty poo bins.

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 20 February 2015

I don't know what I was thinking commenting on dog muck which directly affects my life when I should been sorting out the situation in Ukraine or bringing the warring Middle East factions together which it appears others are busily getting on with.

From Nathan Daniels

Saturday, 21 February 2015

I have just arrived home and after reading this thread and decided to count the piles of dog poo on my way home to Fairfield from Hebden up the steps. Six stinking piles and lots more evidence of it being trodden in. Foul!

Also the usual dogs off leads running amok in the park. Thank God my cat is a clean little soul and buries his excrement. Why have a dog if you can't clear up after it? It's not the blinkin dog's fault but the lazy disrespectful owners. Petition in operation I hope?

From Zilla Brown

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Yes Paul. I agree and meanwhile I feel I should have been devoting my otherwise meaningless time approaching retirement to this-

"In fact one could almost call it a noble profession - unsung perhaps but vital to the smooth operation of our modern society. I see nothing wrong in the council employing people to empty poo bins - it's nothing like as bad as some of the above tasks - and it's outside in the fresh air".

Noble occupation pointed out by Meg thank you, perhaps we should bring in the caste system too..

From Allen Keep

Saturday, 21 February 2015

I see nothing wrong with the council providing more poo bins and then employing people to empty them either. What I had a problem with was the suggestion that somehow the best people to do this might be; the obese, "people of foreign extraction" or, dare we say, immigrants, pensioners (as long as they are active) and so on and that we should pay by results without much regard for the protection of these people in terms of insurance health and safety etc.

Perhaps Meg sees this as benevolence, after all (in a perfect race to the bottom argument) the lucky workers would not be as badly off as Indian sewer cleaners would they?

As I have said before - I completely understand Paul and other's frustration and resentment about dog poo. I haven't stood in any for quite some time so perhaps it doesn't "affect my life" but I share the community concern on the matter – perhaps I shouldn't bother if it doesn't affect me directly?

However angry folk are, the simple point that was made was that there are clearly other much more important issues in local and national /international life - which was entirely reasonable as far as I can see.

I find the argument that we can't do much about wider issues and they don't affect our lives rather depressing to be honest and, to be equally honest, seems somewhat representative of the smug self-centred but oh so right on thinking that is so prevalent amongst the HB liberal intelligentsia.

Final thought about dog owners who let their dogs shit all over the town. It's selfish, lazy, anti-social and utterly deplorable. As a responsible dog–owner, it makes my blood boil. But let's, again, have some sense of perspective. Isn't it a little sweeping and defeatist, in fact somehwhat reactionary to suggest these individuals are beyond redemption and have no morals whatsoever?

From Meg Rumbell

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

No Allen - it's not "entirely reasonable" that someone should be holier-than-thou about people's concern with dog shit. What they are really saying is - "I am a superior person to you because I am concerned about the world's problems - whilst you are only bothered about what's on your shoe." It's intellectual snobbery in other words.

And of course, it's the easiest thing in the world to criticise other people's suggestions of how to solve the problem - and distort their arguments to boot - but requires a bit more effort and imagination to engage in constructive solutions. Perhaps Allen could use his undoubted intelligence to come up with his own answers to the dog poo problem.

A couple of pointers to bear in mind. Anything expensive is no use to our cash strapped council. It's got to be cheap. If it's too expensive - it won't happen. Also it's unlikely that doctors, lawyers, space scientists, or theoretical physicists would be applying to empty poo bins for the council, nor would the "smug self-centred HB liberal intelligentsia" to quote Allen.

So who is to do it ? Just a hint to help you - it might just be those short of cash. Poor people in other words. This eminently sensible suggestion is bound to further enrage our keyboard thought police, of course, but unfortunately we live in a capitalist society where everyone survives, or not, by what skills or labour they have to offer (unless they live off benefits of course).

Which reminds me of a quote by Larry Niven - "It is likely that a socialist society will starve when it runs out of capitalists." Greece springs to mind.

There you are you see - someone up to the eyes in dog shit with also some lofty thoughts on the problems of the world.

From Ron Taylor

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Maybe it's time to reintroduce the dog licence.

From Allen Keep

Thursday, 26 February 2015

I have been rather busy in my new role as peace envoy to the middle east (tough gig -apparently there are two sides to that argument) but I do have a minute to respond to Meg.

I haven't distorted her argument at all - I agreed with it. More poo bins – then empty them - pay someone to do it. Fine.

I don't fall into any of the categories Meg helpfully lists (albeit uncomfortably close to one of them) but I suspect there would be many pensioners, obese people, and those of "foreign extraction" for instance (and who, by the way, are likely to populate all classes of society and many of whom may indeed be doctors, lawyers or space scientist) who would be quite offended, as I was, by the simply prejudicial suggestion that they would make ideal poo shifters.

Meg also fails to address her lack of concern for the employment rights of whoever might take these jobs - perhaps an irritating obstacle to the free exploitation of labour and of concern only to the keyboard police - but instead takes time for a side swipe at those on benefits and a quite ludicrous defence of capitalism.

Lofty is not the adjective I would choose but Meg's description of being up to her eyes in dog shit seems appropriate enough.

From Julian Haggerty

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Ok guys. I am so sick and tired of this disgusting scenario.

I came home half an hour ago after viewing 9 piles of dog shit left un picked up on my way home to Birchcliffe from the train station and guess what? I yet again, for the third time in 3 months trod in another dirty pile of the filthy stuff which takes me ages to clean off my shoes after a hard day at work.

Hebden hippies please note, keep your dogs on bloody leads and clean up after them - please.

From Eleanor Land

Friday, 27 February 2015

There was yet another pile of poo in the entrance leading to Riverside School playground. Perhaps it is time to ask parents with dogs to leave them at home when collecting children from school.

From Meg Rumbell

Friday, 27 February 2015

Well I'm glad Allen found some spare time from his Middle East schedule (unsuccessful I note) to forensically analyse every sentence in my last post. I am flattered by such attention.

But the continuing total lack of ideas to address the dog shite problem is a sore disappointment. If he can't come up with anything on this - what hope is there in the Middle East.

And it's interesting that he was 'uncomfortably close' to being a space scientist or something equally elite - or did he mean being close to obesity or unemployment.

And his dedication to protecting the rights of the poor and oppressed from the filthy capitalists. Very creditable - a modern day Robin Hood and I assume he wears his pants over his tights - as is normal with super heros.

However, to get back on track to the main thrust of this thread, I was pleased to see two posts on Hebweb today in two brief sentences which did contribute something to solution of the dog poo problem.

I refer to Ron Taylors suggestion of return to dog licensing - yes I would vote for that (together with micro-chipping and a DNA database). The other suggestion was from Rob Blake, a great campaigner against Himalayan Balsam, who would like to see poo eating beetles (not beatles Rob - I don't think our Liverpool friends would be any use). If CABI could develop some of those they would get gong of the century.

From Steve Redfern

Friday, 27 February 2015

Dog shit outside docs surgery. Can one of our shit picker up people please attend. We know you like to do it.

From Chris B

Friday, 27 February 2015

I think this thread has gone beyond entertaining / informative / mildly irritating / very annoying, and is now becoming rather silly. Can we put it out of its misery please?

From Meg Rumbell

Sunday, 1 March 2015

I think the election thread is a good opportunity for the local politicians to tell us what they are going to do about dog shite. In fact, given the popularity of this thread on Hebweb, possibly one of the longest running threads in its history, I don't see how our prospective candidates can possibly ignore this issue.

I would go as far as to say that the one who comes up with the most convincing manifesto will surely be elected.

I have in mind that the candidates should demonstrate that they understand and empathise with the residents problems, that they have practical experience of the issue, that they have researched the local area ie: Hebden Bridge and it's environs, and have come to a definite conclusion about how to tackle the problem.

So for example, when canvassing potential voters they should be able to demonstrate much experience of treading in the claggy mess, and be able to offer advice on the best way to scrape it off children's trainers, pushchairs, invalid carriages and bike wheels.

They will have walked the streets whilst canvassing so their research should include a count of the piles of shite they've found, also the number of bags with shite in them hanging from trees, fences etc. Also they should have maps marked with the 'hot spots' and the disposition of poo bins, and have views on whether they are suitably located and whether there are enough of them.

They should have statistics at their finger tips of the numbers of offenders caught, those issued with PCNs, and those prosecuted. - statistics which currently have little, if any, visibility to voters.

They should be familiar with all the solutions suggested on the Hebweb thread, and have also consulted experts in the field so as to come to some well founded conclusions about what actions to take. Their proposals should be costed and budgetary provision made.

Finally, they should look us squarely in the eye, give a very firm handshake and tell us very clearly that under their watch this problem will be resolved.

Given all this they will surely get my vote - and I don't give a toss whether they are Tories, Socialists, Greens or Monster Raving Looney.

Please keep the discussion to the issue. Any messages containing insults or personal attacks on other contributors will be edited or cut. Thanks - Ed


HebWeb Forum: Dogs (March-July 2014)

HebWeb Forum: Dogs not on leads (March 2014)