Children who play in this back lane have penned their own notice to deter irresponsible dog-walkers from using a lane at the rear of Stanwell Road

Children who play in a back lane at the rear of Stanwell Road, Penarth  had to resort to penning  their own notice to deter irresponsible dog-walkers from using the lane as a dog-toilet

A local resident Mr Ian Norton is proposing a scheme which could help tackle the growing and now highly-publicised problem of dog faeces on the pavements of Penarth .

Three years ago Mr Norton first floated out the idea of setting up a dog-DNA database which would hold the genetic code of every licensed dog . When dog faeces are found on pavements, the material could then be analysed  and could immediately identify the dog – and the dog-owner – responsible .

A pilot scheme to test dog DNA has now begun – appropriately enough – in the London Borough of Barking. Samples of dog poo are being collected over a period of  three months to be checked against a local database of registered animals and their owners and establish whether its being primarily caused by people who have not registered their pets.

Samples shown on Twitter of the deposits of local dogs left on Penarth pavements

Samples shown on Twitter of the deposits of local dogs left on Penarth pavements

Here in Penarth, a graphic campaign on Twitter  has produced stomach-churning photographs day-after-day of dog-faeces left on public pavements in Penarth.

The "Poonarth" website set up to pinpoint dog poo in Penarth

The “Poonarth” website  – set up last month to pinpoint dog poo in Penarth has been improved.

As of this week there is also now a new improved version of the “Poonarth” website [www.poonarth.com]  first launched in mid December which pinpoints the locations of dog mess across the town as it’s discovered – or is inadvertently stepped upon – by subscribers and followers. The site now includes what’s called a “heatmap” identifying the worst-affected areas.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is responsible for controlling dogs – and cleaning up dog-mess – in Penarth. The council introduced “Control of Dogs By-Laws” some time ago and  promised it would “will improve the cleanliness of the Vale by reducing dog fouling.” – but there’s little evidence that the by-laws, or their enforcement, are having any effect .

The Vale Council however claims that its actions have had an effect and boasts that it enforcement of the Dogs (Fouling of Land) legislation  has resulted in only 14 on-the-spot fines being imposed [ the Vale council doesn’t say how many of these were in Penarth].

Blaenau Gwent has fined 1000 dog owners. The Vale of Gklamorgan has fined only 14

Blaenau Gwent Council has fined 1,099 dog owners. The Vale of Glamorgan Council has fined only 14

That paltry number of fines in the Vale however pales into insignificance alongside the much tougher line being taken by Blaenau Gwent Council which has hired a private company to crack down on irresponsible dog-owners . In Blaenau Gwent the number of fines imposed in just one year has soared from 10 to 1,099.

Meanwhile, here in Penarth, Mr Ian Norton, who lives in Penarth Marina,   is renewing pressure for the introduction of the DNA database scheme which he first mooted in 2013 when he launched a public petition to force action from the Vale Council.

Mr Norton says “My proposal is that if every dog had a DNA sample taken and held in a central database, then whatever the situation, be it lost, stolen, found, attacking other dogs or people, or fouling, a swab of the animal, its faeces, or from the savaged animal/human, would immediately expose all necessary information relating to the dog and owner.”  The entire cost of such a scheme he says “should be borne by the owner/breeder”.


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Christopher David says:

    Yup- make it a profit centre. One lad in our junior rugby team ended up in hospital with weeks of illness after getting dog faeces in a cut from poo on the field.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      The reference in the article to Blaenau Gwent is almost FOUR years out of date. The BBC reported this on the 10 Jul 2012 – “The number of fines issued for dog fouling in one area of Wales has soared from 10 to 1,099 in a year. A private firm has been hired by Blaenau Gwent” etc.etc etc…………….. To put it politely this whole scheme was BLAIRITE RUBBISH and an insult to the communities they claimed to serve. Most of the Fines were unpaid and it proved too expensive to pursue so many in the Courts.
      When Labour Cooperative regained control of the Council (and the Constituency) from a bunch of tired, incompetent, reactionary, misogynistic self styled Independents they sacked the now defunct firm of KGB “North Korean” style Civil Enforcement “commission only” dog /litter wardens. Many Tory Councils in Kent sacked these para military bullies as well – they were originally the idea of the Blair-Brown junta now both of whom of course are largely discredited and disowned by the majority of Labour Party Members.
      There is very effective enforcement control in Blaenau Gwent which could easily be applied here. The service is provided by polite well trained Environmental Officers in nice clean, public reassuring High Vis Jackets. They receive UNISON pay rates a Pension and the respect of the Residents for keeping the Streets Clean.

    • Frank Evans says:

      Does anyone else notice Mr Rapier seems to reply to the first comment on every story? Must be in response to an email from labour hq. Get yourself noticed on social media…..

  2. elizabeth roberts says:

    great idea – don’t know how it would work in practice as responsible people would register but less responsible ones would not. Worth a try though.

  3. sjleworthy says:

    There’s absolutely no way cash strapped councils would justify or put this subject higher up on their priority and spending lists. Meaning that nothing seemingly gets done as per. Meaning its down to responsible dog owners to clean up. Meaning we’re back to square one and nothing changes.

    This poo website? Is pretty meaningless.

    But as a responsible dog owner i’d happily pay for DNA sampling of my dogs for whatever potential needs are required of it in future events.

  4. Ive just discussed this with my Dog Watson (Chocolate Labrador) he isreluctant to give DNA based on the fact he doesnt want to be linked to other crimes he is currently on the run from such as …. eating my lunch the other day wheni wasnt looking & distributing the contents of the bin over the kitchen floor!

    Seriously though i dont live in Penarth but im there a lot with my dog – the parts i frequent dont seem to be anymore worse for dog poo than anywhere else.

    that said dog owners need to respect the surroundings they are in and clean up after themselves.

    instead of using cctv to chase down post it notes prehaps it could be used to monitor and tackle this issue?

    • Colin says:

      He does go by the phone box sometimes….I’ve seen him go there twice…

      • im aware of his hotspots (phone box and Pizza Pronto – read into that what you will)and always try and pick up behind him even if sometimes im several paces back.
        i do also pick up randoms in the lane that despite not looking like Watsons brand i think can hurt to pick up the odd 1 extra if im out with bags

    • Matt f says:

      This is why I love the bottle shop 🙂 you win the conments section haha.

  5. Freddy Jack! says:

    Could we also extend this scheme to some of our barking mad Councillors?

  6. Alan says:

    All of a sudden there is this energy directed towards dog mess in Penarth…Is there no similar urge to clean all the graffiti that scars the town? What about the chronic traffic congestion in the mornings? What about the lack of car parking space? And the shocking state of our roads and pavements? What about the litter scattered across pavements, especially following refuse ‘collections’?

    • EH says:

      What about lots of things as you say…but that doesn’t make this a bad idea. Sufficient fines could pay for it. A question to all – if dog owners bag it but then throw the bag into the bushes, is that illegal? I would have thought so, but it happens.

  7. Robert Donaldson says:

    have asked the cabinet member (visibility services) cllr gwyn john VOG,

    For three dog fouling signs to be erected @ the dingle pk’s entrances.

    He is dealing with this request.

    How many summons have been issued in the Penarth area for the past twelve months?

    If any by whom?.

    Good subject matter here

    Many thanks.


    Dingle park.

  8. Anna says:

    Something needs doing about it. Especially by Bute Cottage Nursery!

    If you’d had your toddler and baby get dog poo on their clothes and shoes, you’d know it’s not a laughing matter.

  9. Ron Foxton (good boy... sit. No, SIT I said!) says:

    Poobag dispensers should be provided in all public places within the borough. There are then no excuses for those irresponsible handlers and pet owners not to pick up after their charges – dog, child or otherwise. Similar schemes in more forward thinking European cities – Amsterdam, Hamburg, Cologne – have had terrific success and prosecutions for fouling have dropped as handlers and pet owners become more responsible. Bag dispensers and bag supply would be funded by fines. As the prosecutions decreased, fines could be increased to offset the cost of more visible signage to warn against the severity of fines.

  10. Christopher David says:

    I once met John Humphrys (spelling is correct) as a business do. Nice chap- used to work on the Penarth Times eons ago which we touched on. Still reporting the dog s%@> are they he asked. Little changes but as I started out saying, it is dangerous to persons especially children. I’ve seen the results. And its down right dirty, selfish and anti social.

  11. Fiona Whitfield says:

    Every morning ive seen fresh by the bottom of plassey square and by the back of the gardens off glebe st who lets her dogs out at 7.45 by themselves each morning

  12. M davies says:

    It would help if the council monitored the local parks for a start
    Every day several people let their dogs off in the local parks and have no idea what they ar doing or if they are going to the toilet
    The beach is also a hot spot for dog mess.
    Other than that will cats be id clouded in this? We regularly have cat Poo in our garden and a local at has eaten all our goldfish and likes to sit on our plants squashing them . Cat owners have no idea what their cats are doing as they let them out of the house for hours at a time.
    I suggest name and shame by taking a photo of the dog owner and sending it to the Penarth Times may have more of an effect

  13. sjleworthy says:

    and what about the regular amount of horse manure deposited on the railway path? one of these is easily several dogs’ worth.

    • hughcurrell says:

      Without wishing to start a poo comparison, horse poo is nowhere near as bad as dog poo. Horse manure is essentially chewed up grass and whilst there may be a slight whiff in the air the smell of dog poo is enough to make you vomit. I cycle reguarly on the cycle path and the horse poo doesn’t bother me, scraping dog poo off a bike wheel is highly unpleasant let me tell you.

    • Iolanthe says:

      Yes, I agree sjleworthy, mounds like elephant’s doings yet nobody mentions horse manure.

  14. Matt says:

    I do see this as a problem but surely there are bigger issues to fix than dna testing every dog poo in Penarth? Guess its a first world problem!


    Penarth Promenade Could Someone Tell Me Where The POO Bins Are Located. Quite A Few Dog Owners Use The Litter Bin Outside The Pier Entrance. That’s Far From Correct.

    • Poonarth says:

      Hi Penarth Promenader, you might be interested to know that Poonarth now plots all the dog poo bins in the Penarth area (according to VOG Council). It looks like the nearest dog poo bin to the Pier is 1) on the cliff top (there are two) and, 2) Victoria Square park. Surprising that there are not more dog poo bins near the Pier, it looks like you might need to take your dog for an extended walk up the hill to find the nearest bin (unless the council add more!)

  16. Christopher David says:

    What you saying Matt! eat the dogs and stop children being poisoned ? 😉

  17. Fiona Whitfield says:

    My Cat only goes out for half an hour in the mornings in her own garden then comes straight in for her litter tray ive trained her as I don’t like cats poo either in my garden, so even though im a cat owner I still take responsibility for her.

  18. Fido says:

    Good grief, what a bunch of whingers. We get so much rain, it washes away within hours. If ‘Mr Ian Norton’ has so much time on his hands, may I suggest charity work as a more meaningful and productive pastime?

    • Ron Foxton says:

      Rain does help rinse the streets, true, but will only be an effective means of self-cleaning if the rain gets to the offending pile first. Unfortunately there are still many thoughtlessly and randomly positioned turds mashed under the feet of unwary pedestrians and forced deep into the tread of cyclists tyres that aren’t removed by nature. Come the short summer, flip-flop wearers beware…

      I’m assuming your owner ‘bags-and-bins’ after you Fido?

    • Fiona Whitfield says:

      The rain hasn’t removed the three mounds of it by me also I work in a charity shop so there ha ha

  19. Christopher David says:

    Ha Fido – not had your kids poisoned then? Are you one of those that lets you animal deposit everywhere Mr / Ms barking? Some of us do believe in decent hygiene standards.

  20. CelticMan says:

    Shit happens!

  21. sjleworthy says:

    Out of interest, these ‘poo-bins’ aren’t the only permitted bins that can house the stuff you know 😉
    The council have previously told me, officially, that any council bins with tops or lids (not air tight ones, the ones with the 2 or 3 inch air gaps) are permissable.

  22. AK says:

    DNA for every licensed dog?

    I thought dog licences were done away with decades ago.

  23. Jonny says:

    This is all well and good, but as a responsible dog owner, what I object to is being monitored from windows by the glaring, righteous pooh police. I have always ‘picked up’ and always will, I have always disposed of the bag in the correct bins, but if I look up once more to see someone staring at me -presumably to ‘check’ I carry on doing what I’m doing? – it’s anyone’s guess where that full pooh bag ends up.

  24. Michael says:

    What are children doing playing ‘in the back lane at the rear of Stanwell Road’? It’s not the Hovis advert. Houses round there generally have fair-sized gardens or does ‘playing in the lane’ mean kicking a football, which the parents prefer to be done away from their own property?

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