SHAMELESS dog owners are causing misery in Earby, with reports of out-of-control pets running loose and a disgusting amount of mess not picked up.
Despite continued campaigns from parish councillors and an increased number of fines issued by environmental enforcement officers, residents say the situation has not improved.
The worst areas include Earby Cemetery, the lane that runs from Rostle Top Road down to Barnwood Road, the football pitch at Hill Top and the canal towpath.
An Earby resident who did not wish to be named said she had been left angry and upset by the amount of dog fouling in the cemetery where she visits her husband’s grave.
She said: “The cemetery can be a lonely place and sometimes it’s nice to see people using the footpath and walking through.
“But so many people just seem to let their dogs off the lead to make a mess.
“I went up on New Year’s Day with my grandchildren to visit their grandfather’s grave and within a foot of his grave were two piles of dog mess.
“I have also seen a dog rolling around in crocuses planted at a baby’s grave. That really flipped me over. You don’t do that in a cemetery. These people obviously have no shame.”
Coun. Vera Cocker said she was disgusted by the amount of mess left around the town.
She said: “Some people just don’t seem to care. There is something about society now where we think we can do what we want and it doesn’t matter what effect it has.
“It is just awful and it really gets on my nerves and offends me. Dog fouling in the cemetery is abhorrent.
“During the snow over Christmas somebody had let their dog off and you could see the tracks where it had run all over and the owner hadn’t gone after it. It urinated on three gravestones and knocked wreaths to the ground that had been left by loved ones.”
There are particular health concerns around dog faeces as toxocariasis, a disease caused by the eggs of the roundworm toxocara, can be passed from dogs to humans through contact with the faces.
Children are particularly at risk and infection can lead to serious illness and in rare cases loss of sight.
David Alexander, senior environmental enforcement officer, warned of the penalties for irresponsible dog owners.
He said: “Anyone who doesn’t pick up their dog’s mess risks getting a fixed penalty notice and a fine of £75.
“Surely it’s easier to just pick up the poop. We hand out free poop scoop bags to dog walkers where we’re out on patrol, and there are a total of 732 dog waste bins across Pendle - that’s far more than other boroughs.
“Dog owners really do have no excuse not to pick up after their pet and that’s why we take a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling in Pendle.“