Dog-free zones

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In response to some of the comments in the August 14 edition of the Herald, firstly I am pleased that PCSOs have been given additional powers to apprehend irresponsible dog owners.

Much more needs to be done. One person has commented that the beaches are for public use, which I agree with, the public being children and families to enjoy. Dogs are not members of the public. It is disconcerting when dogs’ welfare is placed above the welfare of children and families in public places.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, I just don’t like treading in what comes out of them. There is not one member of public who has not had an unpleasant episode with dog faeces, treading or wheeling it into their front room carpet.

I would also ask would you as a dog owner get in the bath with your dog? Of course not. Why should I have to swim in the sea with your dog?

It is irresponsible dog owners that are to blame, not responsible owners.

It is tragic that we have to fence off children’s play areas to stop dogs fouling the area, it should be the other way round. There should be designated fenced areas where dogs can be free to go to the toilet.

I and my grandchildren walked across the bridge at Widewater Lagoon over the weekend. There were lumps of dog mess in abundance on the footpath.

When we reached the beach, dogs were off the lead running around uncontrolled. There was an incident where one dog attacked another dog on a lead, creating mayhem.

One writer mentioned dog-free zones in Guernsey. There should be designated public swimming, dog-free areas, e.g. Lancing beach and Beach Green, and designated dog areas. That is a reasonable compromise. This is commonplace in other resorts and make the environment much more attractive to visitors and residents alike.

Are there any non-dog owners out there who would like to enter the debate?

Once again, I support responsible dog owners but children and families come first.

I also mentioned previously antiquated sewerage systems that burst and lack of maintenance of drains and watercourses that overflow, leading to pollution of our beaches via the River Adur, but not one person has commented on that. Strange that?

Geoff Patmore

Adur councillor for Widewater

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