Dog wardens patrol on bikes at Blackhead Path

Blackhead Path was one of the areas covered in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council operation. INCT 24-052-tc
Blackhead Path was one of the areas covered in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council operation. INCT 24-052-tc

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been taking the lead on dog control by actively promoting its services to pet owners.

Areas in Carrickfergus, Whitehead and Islandmagee were targeted with patrols carried out on two dates in June between 10.00am and 4.30pm.

On the first occasion, dog wardens on foot visited nine separate locations from Carrickfergus leisure centre to Oakfield Glen, Bashfordslands Woods and Diamond Jubilee Wood as well as Castlemara play park.

The wardens, according to a Mid and East Antrim Council statement, made themselves very visible to both dog walkers and the general public at the popular Marine Gardens and play park, Marine Highway, Carrickfergus Castle and Carrickfergus Marina, with the Islandmagee area also in focus afterwards.

The second high profile exercise saw the wardens taking to bicycles to patrol along the length of Blackhead Path, outside Whitehead.

On both occasions, the focus was to be as proactive as possible, interacting with approximately 130-150 dog walkers each time.

The local government authority’s statement continued: “One day alone saw a total of 2,100 dog fouling bags handed out.

“Feedback was good with the majority welcoming the activity, while about 90% of dog walkers used the opportunity to raise the Dog Control Order Consultation.

“Officers noted there were obvious concerns regarding the original proposal for the exclusion of dogs from some areas - but walkers were advised of the revised, current position on the consultation.

“The officers’ visibility was also recognised - especially around the Marine Highway, Marine Gardens and the castle – as they had some very positive comments from the public who said that it gave them a ‘sense of reassurance’ that someone in authority was in the area.

“The exercise was judged very successful, with the only down side being that they detected one dog walker not cleaning up after his dog.

“He is now being dealt with for an Unlicensed Dog (Fixed Penalty) and Failing to Clean up after His Dog (Fixed Penalty).”