A parent-led campaign to shame irresponsible dog owners into cleaning up after their pets has been re-launched in Otley.
Sara Quin started muck:up! in 2010 in a bid to rid the town’s streets of the unsightly, and potentially health threatening, blight of dog mess.
That was after she had seen at first hand how bad the problem was while accompanying one of her children on a school walk.
The campaign set up a website and organised a competition for local schoolchildren to design deterrent posters that were put up at prime dog-fouling sites.
Now Sara is set to take up the fight again after MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) told her it was becoming a major issue.
She said: “I have been liaising successfully with Otley Town Council for funding to get spray cans of temporary chalk paint.
“And, via the muck:up! Facebook and Twitter pages, I have got 25 volunteers who will be using the paint to mark dog fouling. We hope this will work in two ways – firstly, the dog mess will be clearly marked and hence stop kids walking or scooting in it, and buggies going through it.
“And secondly, the lazy dog owners who don’t pick up (or people who bag it and then dump the bags) might be enticed to pick up their dog mess when they see the amount of red circles highlighting it all.
“They may stop thinking ‘just this once won’t hurt’.
“The spray cans have now been distributed so residents will no doubt see the red circles popping up around town. Rest assured, this is temporary paint and will fade in a few weeks – unlike the bacteria in dog mess which research has shown can last in the ground for up to two years.”
Town council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said it had been glad to back the campaign by purchasing the spray cans.
He said: “We’re keen to support local initiatives like this that improve Otley’s environment.”
Mr Mulholland said: “I commend Sara for re-launching the campaign after its success since originally launching in 2010. It is clear that in some areas of Otley the problem of dog fouling has got worse again and I have received a number of complaints from residents.
“It is clear a small minority continue to behave in this anti-social way.”
More information can be found at the muck:up! Facebook page.