The health of children and adults who use the sports fields in Caistor is being put at risk by a ‘minority’ of thoughtless dog owners.
That was the view at last week’s Caistor Town Council meeting when the issue of dog fouling again raised its head.
In particular, the walking football group has contacted the council to say they are having to clear away dog mess before they can have their session.
It is something the council has talked about at a number of meetings, but the problem appears to persist.
Coun Angela Clark is the council’s representative on the Caistor Sports and Social Club committee.
She said: “There is an ongoing issue with dog faeces.
“It is sad to say, but it is a minority; I don’t know what the solution is.
“We can’t tar everybody with the same brush; there is a lot of responsible people, who clear up after the dogs, but there are certain people who aren’t.”
Mrs Clark believes dogs are being walked on the field at night.
A total ban on dogs has been considered previously, but Coun Steve Critten, who is one of the council’s trained dog wardens, does not believe this would be a solution.
He said: “I have said it before, the sort of people who are letting their dogs do this will not be put off by a ban.
“The only answer is to increase patrols.”
Council chairman and town mayor, Coun Jon Wright agreed with Coun Critten.
He said: “We need to look at this seriously.
“We are not against dogs at all, but we need to look after people’s health.”
The council currently has two trained dog wardens and at last week’s meeting, they agreed to look at increasing this number.
Town clerk Jim Hanrahan said: “The dog wardens are empowered to ensure the bylaws at the sports field are adhered to.
“This principally involves warning/issuing fines to those who break the rules.
“They (the dog wardens) are trained through West Lindsey. We are now looking for more to be trained and would welcome hearing from anyone interested.”
Members of the Wolds Walking Football Club, who meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Brigg Road ground have welcomed the council’s efforts.
Spokesman Bob Tubman said: “The club welcomes the support of the town council in making the sports field a safe area for the whole community.
“Many of our players are dog owners, bring poop bags and help clear the pitch of dog excrement.
“We welcome the council’s initial steps in promoting responsible behaviour by all dog owners and the support of the Rasen Mail in helping to inform people about the very real dangers of toxocariasis.
“Children regularly use this field. Imagine the outcry were a child to be blinded as a result of negligence.
“One of our players was hospitalised for 10 days as a result of an incident elsewhere .
“Public safety is our number one priority particularly as the club was set up to improve the health of players.”