WIGAN councillors are waging a war against disrespectful dog owners who are allowing their pets to foul in a church yard.
Couns Paul and Jeanette Prescott say they are shocked at the amount of dogs which are allowed to roam free in the grounds of St John’s Church in Pemberton and foul near people’s graves.
It is believed some dog owners use the graveyard in Church Road as a shortcut to nearby fields but don’t clear up after their pet.
Coun Jeanette Prescott said: “We understand people use St John’s Church as a cut through but dogs should not be allowed to foul in a church yard.
“They should show respect as this is a resting place for people’s loved ones.
“But these owners need to be warned that the situation is being monitored and people will be fined. It is not acceptable to allow dog fouling.
“We have asked the vicar to put in a dog bin, but it is a shame we have to do this. These people should have respect.”
Rev Philip Anderson, the vicar of St John’s Church, said: “We have had a number of people upset because owners are letting their dogs foul in the church yard and they are set free without leads.
“Some of these dogs are quite big and scare people. Children have been particularly scared. Owners say they won’t hurt anyone, but that is not the point.
“This is a special place as people are buried here. All we ask is that people treat it with respect. We are happy for people to bring their dogs but they should be on leads and they should not foul. We have put up signs to remind people not to let their dogs run around.”
Coun Prescott said she had also received a number of complaints about dog mess in nearby Fleet Street.
Coun Jeannette Prescott added: “We aim to get some signs up to warn people about allowing their dog to foul as it is not right.”
Dog owners in a neighbouring ward were warned last year about a bizarre method of clearing up after their pets.
Coun Chris Ready told how although some owners do scoop up after their dogs, they then fail to dispose of the bags in the correct manner and simply leave their scoop bags hanging in trees.
Anyone found failing to clear up after the pet could receive a fixed penalty notice of £50 which could result in a fine of £1,000 or face prosecution.