‘There’s no excuse not to pick it up’ – Royston trio start dog poo patrol group on Facebook to help clean up town

Sally Marchant with Skyler and Sandy, Amber Godfrey with Maddie and Rio and Lily with Jasper and Bri

Sally Marchant with Skyler and Sandy, Amber Godfrey with Maddie and Rio and Lily with Jasper and Brie on Therfield Heath. - Credit: Archant

A trio of dog lovers in Royston are taking the lead in the fight against problem pet owners who don’t pick up after their pooches.

Amber Godfrey teamed up with fellow dog owners Sally Marchant and Lily Clark on Thursday to create a Facebook group for patrollers, who will go out armed with dog poo bags in a bid to clean up the town.

“We’ve all gone out forgetting a poo bag, so this will help people who genuinely forget,” said Amber.

“We’ll also go out patrolling areas like Therfield Heath and footpaths, and will pick up any poo we see – it takes seconds to pick it up and bin it and bags cost next to nothing.

“There’s no excuse not to pick it up. If we see people leaving their dog’s poo we will offer them a poo bag, and if they still don’t pick it up we will report them to the district council, and we’ll video them if any hostility becomes aggressive, and show it to the police.”

Fines are already in place for people not picking up dog mess, but the group says it is difficult to enforce them so they intend to approach North Herts District Council to get permission to put up signs saying they patrol the area.

We want it to act as a deterrent for those people who don’t want to start picking up,” said Amber, who is studying to be a dog behaviourist.

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“I wanted to get the community together, to show that we are doing something about it.

“For the people who don’t want to be involved, I have explained how it would benefit them, that there wouldn’t be poo everywhere for their children to step in and then they get behind it.”

Lily runs Suppawt training school and Sally founded the website www.naturallyhappydogs.com, as well as the Royston Dog Walkers group on Facebook.

“As many as one in four households have a dog,” said Sally, who is expecting her first child.

“It takes one person not to pick up their dog’s poo on a walk each day and that one road to get covered in it – and then it tarnishes all dog walkers, and we’re not all like that.”

They hope people will report offending owners to the group and, in time, it will become a project lead by community spirit.

According to North Herts District Council, it is an offence if the person in charge of a dog fails to pick up their mess on public land. Any person found guilty of this offence could face a fine of up to £1,000.

Go to the Facebook page ‘Royston’s dog poo patrol’ to get involved.

The group are heading out on patrol tomorrow at 1pm on the heath and welcomes anyone who wishes to come along and help.