For a while now we’ve noticed the increase in dog fouling around Athenry and indeed in the Playground. So I made a few phone calls to Galway County Council and this is what I know:
- If you catch an owner blatantly ignoring their dogs ‘dump’ and walking away you can report them to the Community Warden (different to dog warden but that’s coming) and if you are willing to testify – that person will be prosecuted/fined and I believe you are awarded some costs for taking off work to go to court. (It might only take 10 mins in the courtroom). Similarly, if the Community Warden catches someone in the act of not cleaning up the dog ‘dump’, they will be fined on the spot.
- If there are dogs wandering around off lead with or without an owner and the ‘Dog Warden’ happens to be driving by this is what you should expect: The dog will be apprehended by the dog warden and taken immediately to the pound. If the owner wishes to have their dog returned they can do so by paying a penalty, bed, and board for their pet and possibly vet fees.
What can we do??? Inform all our dog owner friends and folks in the community that this is going to happen now. We can share the signs made by the Tidy Towns far and wide on social media and let them know that the Community Warden has been alerted and will be on the lookout for culprits during the day and also that the Dog Warden will be apprehending any lone animals as they will be deemed ‘stray’.
What else can we do??? I have requested the department of the environment to liaise with us on a plan for ‘doggy doo doo bags’ to be placed in areas around the town. This is working in Renville Park in Oranmore at the moment. (I know this might bring its own issues but we can address that when and if we get the system going in Athenry).