DOG mess will be spray-painted bright pink to try and shame owners into clearing up after their pets.
The innovative idea is part of a new campaign launched by Havant Borough Council to crack down on littering and dog fouling.
Chief executive Sandy Hopkins joined environment rangers in the borough’s parks and open spaces to kick-start the project, highlighting the mess that is left behind.
Speaking at Havant Park, in the town centre, she said: ‘Havant Park is pretty clean but there are still lots of people who walk their dogs and they don’t think it’s their responsibility to pick up the poo. The trouble is we have got young children who play in the parks.
‘And we’ve got businesspeople who run fit camps in the parks.
‘The children end up playing in the poo.
‘It’s totally irresponsible (of the dog owners).
‘We’re spraying it pink to point out to people where it is and we’re going to leave it there for a day so people spot just how much of it there is.’
Over the next month environment rangers from the council who are now working in partnership with Kingdom Security – a private environmental protection firm – will be visiting parks to draw attention to the irresponsible behaviour of dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.
The council has produced a video to highlight the Paint Poo Pink project. It is part of the Pick Up or Pay Up campaign aimed at drawing people’s attention to the problem while encouraging people to pick up after themselves or be issued with a fixed penalty notice costing £75.
Natalie Meagher, service manager for neighbourhood quality, said: ‘By using the paint in this way we’re looking to underline the extent of the problem.
‘We hope that will encourage dog owners who do not pick the mess up to see how much their selfishness spoils other people’s enjoyment of our open spaces.’
Mum-of-two Zoe Jones has been campaigning to get dog owners to clear up after their messy pets in the Bedhampton area.
The 28-year-old, of Hillmead Gardens, says the walk to Bidbury Mead Junior School is like running a gauntlet.
She added: ‘This is a brilliant idea. At least this way people will be able to see it before they tread in it. I hope it will shame the owners.’