Durham County Council held a series of events and activities in Tow Law, Billy Row, Sunniside, Roddymoor and Stanley Crook to encourage dog owners to make sure they pick up their dogs’ mess and dispose of it correctly.
As part of the campaign, Civic Pride officers visited four local primary schools and taught 440 pupils about how to look after a dog properly.
Children also took part in a competition to design posters aimed at reminding people to pick up after their dog.
The winner was Year 6 pupil Libby Thompson from Peases West Primary School whose design has been made into stickers and placed on dog fouling bins in the area.
Meanwhile, ward member for Tow Law Cllr John Hart funded a scheme, which saw 12 dog owners who were spotted cleaning up and correctly throwing away their dog’s mess, handed golden tickets.
Each one was entered into a prize draw to win a supermarket voucher – the winner was Tony Chapman and his dog Honey.
One warning letter was also issued and 58 people were spoken to about picking up after their pets.
Cllr Hart said: “I’m blown away by the sheer number of local people – young and old – who have come together to take a stand against the selfish few who don’t have enough pride in their community or respect for their neighbours to clean up after their pets.
“A highlight has been visiting our four schools and seeing younger residents’ enthusiasm for their communities. Judging the poster campaign was near-impossible but I can’t wait to see Libby’s design across Tow Law and the Hilltop Villages.”
There was also a free microchipping event, held in partnership with the Dogs Trust, where 60 dogs were chipped.
It comes ahead of new legislation which comes into force from 6 April requiring all dogs aged eight weeks and over to be microchipped.
And 36 people signed up to the council’s Green Dog Walkers pledge to always pick up their dog’s mess and encourage others to do the same.
Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager, Durham County Council, said: “Education continues to be key to tackling issues such as dog fouling, which is why we regularly visit children at local schools and run projects such as the Green Dog Walkers scheme during our campaigns.
“We would remind people to make sure they always pick up after their pets and urge everyone to ensure their dogs are microchipped before the new rules come into effect in April and to look out for any upcoming sessions.”
To find out where you can get your dog microchipped visit www.durham.gov.uk/microchipping or call 03000 261 000.
For more information about the Green Dog Walkers scheme and to download a form to sign up visit www.durham.gov.uk/greendogwalkers or call 03000 261 000.
Dog fouling can be reported at www.durham.gov.uk/dogfouling or by calling 03000 261 000.