Is there anything we can do?

Sophie-Ann with the letter she hopes will solve the problem of dogs' mess near Whitehills Primary School.
Sophie-Ann with the letter she hopes will solve the problem of dogs' mess near Whitehills Primary School.

a PRIMARY four pupil at Whitehills Primary School has become so fed up with constantly “dodging dog poo” on her way to and from school that she has written to the Forfar Dispatch to ask if there is anything that can be done.

Community-minded Sophie-Ann Robson of Roberts Street has joined the hundreds of local residents who have highlighted the problem which has blighted streets throughout the town for years.

We have reported endlessly of public complaints about the state of the streets - and now Sophie-Ann hopes dog owners will listen to her plea and will begin picking up after their pets.

In her hand-written, hand-delivered letter she writes: “I am disgusted that me and my friends have to dodge dog poo every day to and from school.

“I don’t think it’s very hard to pick up dog poo. I am eight years old.

“Is there anything we can do?”

After handing the letter in to our office in Castle Street, Sophie-Ann explained she had walked through the dogs’ mess, and so, too, have her friends.

She said: “My mum has got it on the wheels of the pram and I’ve got it on my shoes a few times. A few of my friends have also fallen and have accidentally put their hands in it.

“People really do have to pick up after their dogs. There’s just mess everywhere. I’ve seen one or two people with their dogs who don’t pick up the mess. I wonder how these people would feel if they walked through it at their door.”

Sophie-Ann hopes her letter will now make people realise that it is wrong not to pick up their dogs’ mess and that they will now start clearing up the dirt.

Proud mum Sarah added: “Sophie-Ann came home from school today and asked what she could do. When I told her she could write to the Dispatch she did it right away and we brought the letter down.

“Every day when we walk to school there are fresh piles of mess. There is a sign warning dog owners who don’t pick up that they can be fined £50, but people just ignore it. This should have been sorted a long time ago.

“I am really proud of Sophie-Ann writing to the paper. She’s obviously got to the point that she’s that fed up. She can’t do anything on her own so she is looking for help.

“We walk my mum’s dogs but would never dream of not picking up after them.

“Sophie-Ann has been walking to Whitehills for years, first of all to the nursery. She’s eight now and she sees it every day.”

Sarah added that, as well as Service Road being littered with dogs’ mess, so, too, was Roberts Street with fresh piles every day.

“It’s really bad. Surely people realise the road is on the way to a school - it doesn’t make any sense.”

Mrs Isobel Ross, chairman of Forfar Community Council, also praised Sophie-Ann for writing to the Dispatch.

Last February we photographed Mrs Ross on the path leading from Whitehills Primary School to Prior Road which was also littered with dogs’ dirt.

At the time Mrs Ross called on dog owners to be responsible and pick up their pets’ mess.

Commenting on Sophie-Ann’s letter she said: “I would be delighted to meet Sophie-Ann and invite her along to Forfar Community Council.

“This problem is highlighted again and again and again. It was good of Sophie-Ann to write and it highlights how bad the situation is, the fact kids of that age are noticing it.

“The council and the police should be taking this on board. We need action, not words. What are the wardens doing? The police and the council should put their heads together to sort this once and for all as it is a health hazard.

“I would also be delighted to meet Sophie-Ann and “walk the walk” with her to Whitehills. We have to start somewhere and this little girl has taken the initiative.”