Families fight against poo

Joseph Bulmer

THE Poo Fighters are striking at the consciences of dirty dog owners in Torrington.

Fed up with their pushchair wheels and children’s shoes being covered with excrement, a group of local mums decided to take actions into their own hands and the Poo Fighters were born.

Hundreds of names have already been collected on petitions, compiled to raise awareness of the problems in the town and to seek co-operation from dog owners.

They say, simply: “We, the mums and dads of Torrington, ask the dog owners who leave their pets’ poo on our paths and pavements, to please, please pick it up.”

The local authorities and Commons Conservators had also been contacted so the problem could be tackled together, but this was primarily a community venture in the hope of making people realise that it was friends, neighbours, relatives and their children who were being affected and persuading them to consider their actions, said Claire Scott, one of the founder members.

“We have this all around the town and local people are now sending in information about bad spots. We hope that while people might not respond to the authorities, they might listen to us. We are certainly not anti-dogs. Some are dog owners. We just want to politely ask people to stop allowing their pets to foul our town.”

This was for the benefit of local people and for visitors, said Claire. She had spoken with five visiting families who all said they loved the area, but would not be coming back because they were fed up with their children treading in poo.

Mayor of Torrington Sue Mills said there was a constant problem regarding dogs’ mess and bins and the council wanted people to tell them where bins were needed.

“I am passionate about this. We live in a beautiful place, but we have this problem throughout the whole of Torrington. It is everyone’s issue, although it is just a small minority who are causing it,” she said.

Torridge animal welfare officer Carl Cresswell said the Poo Fighters were taking the lead on this and they were all keen that the community of Torrington should get involved.

“Hopefully people will see the article in the Gazette and take notice of their friends and neighbours,” he said. “But we will be keeping a close eye on the situation and if there are those we do not get the message, we will carry out enforcement action and hand out fixed penalty notices.”