Aberdeenshire Council has reported an increasing number of complaints about dog fouling during the Covid pandemic.
The local authority is urging residents to pick up after their pets to keep the region clean and tidy.
They hit out at dog walkers who refuse to “bag it and bin it” which results in unsightly and potentially harmful mess left on streets and in public areas.
This is even more important due to the ongoing lockdown, with more families out and about walking and cycling daily and could be exposed to disease and infection from dog waste.
Dog fouling has been reported in towns, villages, and rural areas where it could make livestock and wildlife seriously ill.
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads, landscape, and waste services Philip McKay called on the public to always clean up after their dog.
He said: “We have seen a significant rise in the number of people who are out walking their dogs while enjoying some welcome exercise during the pandemic and our thanks go to all those who continue to act in a responsible manner and pick up after their pets.
“However it is vital in the interests of public safety that everyone bags any mess and disposes of it appropriately in a public bin or their own black-lid household waste bin when they get home.
“That is particularly important during a time of crisis when people are having limited time outdoors and our public services are severely restricted.
“Staff across all of our services have demonstrated real resilience in retraining and relocating to support their colleagues within critical services.
“It is vital we all do our bit to act responsibly and ensure we keep our communities as clean and safe as possible to support our workforces during these very challenging times.”
If you have witnessed a person allowing their dog to foul in a public area and not pick it up, you can report it to the council’s Environmental Health service by calling 03456 081207.
Details of the information required to investigate the offence can be found online.