Dogs – and their owners

Many of us are dog-owners – I have two. With the undoubted pleasure of their companionship comes responsibility for their actions.

I wrote several months ago about the problem of dog fouling around Much Wenlock. I have erected warning posters (some of which have been ripped down), local residents have chalked a line around the mess, and some incidents have been reported. There are locations around the town where this a real eyesore, and a serious health hazard. Disposal bags are available from shops around the town and all supermarkets – there is no excuse.

Irresponsible dog-owners give the conscientious ones a bad name. If you exercise your dog off your own property, you should ensure you’re carrying a bag in which to pick up any poo that is dropped. If you loose your dog off your property after dark, you clearly have no intention of clearing up after it.

If you can’t see what your dog is doing, it would probably be described as not “under control”. This brings other dangers as well. There have been local reports over the years of dogs fighting and, regrettably, some have had to be destroyed because of the severity of their injuries. As I write this, I am told of a local resident who has suffered an unprovoked attack on one of our streets by a dog, whose owner was nowhere to be seen at the time. The victim’s wound required a trip to hospital, stitches and, of course, a tetanus jab.

A dog out of control, or unscooped dog poo, constitutes anti-social behaviour. As such it should be reported to the Shropshire Community Safety Partnership, which includes a number of agencies such as Shropshire Council and the Police. Their (daytime) telephone number is 0345 678 9020.

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The Gaskell Recreation Ground, and the walk from the Bull Ring to Station House, are particularly popular areas for dog-walking. I am keen that the Gaskell Recreation Ground should continue to be used by local residents exercising their dogs – responsibly. I hope that the “Gaskell Recreation Ground Management & Development Plan”, published in November 2017, will recognise the health benefits of dog ownership and will not be implemented in a way that inhibits this recreation.