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YUK! What's on my shoe?

Dog owners are being reminded of their legal obligation to clean up after their pets following problems with children stepping into faeces on their way to school.

Homes in Ashlawn Drive, Tower Road, Margaret Drive and Fernleigh Way in Boston have been sent letters by Boston Borough Council's environmental enforcement team reminding dog walkers of their duty to clean up and the penalties risked if they do not. The letter also gives reporting details for anyone who witnesses anyone failing to clean up after a dog.

The streets are on the walking route to St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, and some children have arrived at school having trodden in the mess left behind.

As well as being a nasty, smelly mess for school staff to deal with it poses a health risk to all who come into contact with the faeces.

Council staff have been out spraying dog mess left behind with pink chalk to highlight the nuisance and provide a guilt-laden nudge to persistent offenders. A stencil has also been used to leave a pink "clean-up after your dog" chalk reminder on footpaths.

Head teacher Mr Damian Davey said: "It's very disappointing that this continues to happen along the access routes to school and around our school perimeter. I think that the minority of irresponsible dog owners, who don't clear up after their pets fail to see the negative impact and potential risk to the health of young people in our community. Their laziness is also giving good, responsible pet owners a bad name."

A member of the council enforcement team said: "Additional bins which can be used for general litter and bagged dog waste are to be provided for Fernleigh Way and Tower Road, but they can only be of use if people actually clean up and use them.

"We are sure anyone can appreciate the unpleasantness associated with a child arriving at school who has stepped in this mess. Children are not always ever so careful when removing their shoes and there is a real health hazard associated with getting dog faeces onto their hands. In the worst cases human contact with dog faeces has led to blindness.

"Parents are also asked to make their children aware of the necessity to clean up if they take their dogs for a walk - and equip them with the necessary bags to do so."

Dog poo bags are available, free of charge, from the council. Failing to clean up after a dog you are walking carries a £50 fine.