What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Community Cohesion. Fostering good relations between people from different groups. Bringing together people within the local community, staging an event which will be fun for the whole family.
Tackling the problem of irresponsible dog ownership and the lack of appreciation which some people have regarding the positive roles that dogs can and do have in society.
Photograph taken in Haden Hill Park. Haden Hill Dog Awareness Day 2013
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
a) There has been heightened media coverage in recent times, which have highlighted issues of concern, where dogs have maimed a child. Understandably this has consequently led to a rise in lower level tolerance by some concerned non dog owners towards dogs and their handlers in public places including parks and open spaces.
b) Sandwell council have recently launched a new campaign to tackle the issue of irresponsible dog owners not cleaning up their dogs mess. Bold posters like the ones below have been put up around the borough in public places to raise awareness and help tackle the problem. Wardens have stepped up patrols and are targeting ‘hot spot’ areas. Over 80 fines have been issued in recent months.
What is your solution?
a) We believe that through better education of handlers, children and parents – the horrific situations of dogs harming children could be avoided.
b) Through working in cooperation with our local council we believe we can promote and encourage more responsible dog ownership and encourage handlers to clean up after their dog.
Photograph taken February 2014 of one of our committee members giving an educational talk, followed by helpful discussion, on how dog’s communicate - with other dogs and with people.
How will you deliver this?
We are a voluntary group who lead the way in promoting responsible dog ownership.
Through our activities we aim to increase awareness of the positive part dogs can and do play in society.
We are raising funds for our 2nd annual Dog Awareness Day which is to be held in Haden Hill park on Saturday 21st June 2014.
This will be a fun day for all the family with exciting and informative activities / demonstrations for everyone, be they dog owners / handlers or not.
Activities to include – a fun dog show, information stands, charity stalls, local traders, children's activities, dog demonstrations (obedience & agility).
The event will be supported by a local vet - who will be on hand to offer advice and assistance.
We are already working closely with the local council to ensure that people understand the need to pick up and dispose of dog waste responsibly.
We organise monthly social dog walks, talks & other social events which enable members of the committee to meet with members of the dog walking fraternity – and this provides us with the perfect opportunity to address matters of public concern and enables dogs to meet & socialise.
We hope to issue our first newsletter to members of our group shortly and this will include a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ concerning responsible dog ownership.
All proceeds raised on the day, over and beyond any necessary costs, are donated to our nominated charity. Last year we were able to give £1032 to ‘HEARING DOGS for Deaf People’ and this year we hope to raise at least that amount for ‘SUPPORT DOGS – training dogs to transform lives’
Photograph taken during one of our social dog walks.