A community “Dog Watch” scheme has been launched in Wistaston near Nantwich to encourage owners to be more responsible.

And the scheme, launched by Councillors Margaret Simon and Jacquie Weatherill, has been backed by Hillside Veterinary Centre in Nantwich.

The centre, on Crewe Road, has donated hundreds of poo bag dispensers to hand out to dog walkers.

“Dog Watch” signs have also been erected in the Joey the Swan area of Wistaston, and leaflets and wallet sized cards with contact phone numbers have been handed out.

They hope this will encourage residents to report dog fouling incidents and stray dogs, and provides numbers for other council services.

Cllr Simon said: “I have two dogs of my own and while I am out walking them, other dog owners often grumble about the amount of dog mess in certain parts of our local area.

“The idea of Dog Watch was mentioned to me by a fellow dog walker who was keen to see us implement an initiative to tackle the problem in a positive way.

“We chose to start at Joey the Swan because we have recently had a number of complaints about its public pathways.

“So far everyone who has taken the time to stop and speak to us has been very pleased we are doing something. They have also suggested other areas that would benefit from Dog Watch. Clearly we are on the right track with this scheme.”

Cllr Weatherill added: “Complaints about dog fouling are among the most common reason for residents to contact their councillor.

“We need to work proactively with our residents. Our ward covers a very large area, we have the Connect 2 pathways and also linear pathways and open spaces by Wistaston Mill. We intend to roll out Dog Watch in those areas in the future.”

Vet Nurse Bev Richards, from Hillside, said: “Responsible dog ownership is key to keeping our streets and open spaces clean.

“Picking up after your dog helps us to have clean and safe places for everyone to enjoy whether you are a dog owner or not.

“Hillside is working with the Dog’s Trust and is offering free micro-chipping for your dog until the end of the year.”

Community Warden Tim Beckett added: “Joey the Swan is the ideal area to start this scheme as it is widely used by children, families, walkers and dog walkers.

“Whilst we were on the Joey the Swan pathway we came across a lost dog.

“Fortunately, we were able to use the microchip scanner and start the process trying to reunite him with his owner.”

The owner was eventually traced.

To report a dog fouling incident, a stray dog or to discuss dog related issues, call 0300 123 5021.

For dog micro-chipping, contact Hillside Veterinary Centre on 01270 625310.

Warden and Hillside Vets nurse with stray dog

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