Concern ‘filthy behaviour’ could make children ill

People who don't clear up after their dogs could face a �1,000 fine. SUS-150224-134314001
People who don't clear up after their dogs could face a �1,000 fine. SUS-150224-134314001

Irresponsible dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets could be exposing children to a disease which can cause blindness.

Mike Willis, of Sandown Way, says that dog walkers are putting children at risk of toxocariasis, an infection caused by roundworm parasites which is spread to humans via infected dog faeces.

Mr Willis says that there is dog waste scattered around the Sandown Way area - and he is concerned that with spring just around the corner, children will soon be outside playing and could come into contact with the mess.

Mr Willis drafted a letter which he posted to all residents in the cul-de-sac, urging them to look out for ‘appalling behaviour’.

He said: “I could not believe the disgusting mess in our lovely road.

“May I suggest you keep an eye open for the perpetrators of this appalling behaviour?”

Mr Willis added: “I feel so angry that it is very important that this is stopped as quickly as possible, particularly because of the effect on children’s eyesight.”

Toxocariasis has been reported in people of all ages.

However it usually affects young children because children are more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil when they play and put their hands in their mouths.

For most people, an infection with these roundworm larvae causes no symptoms and the parasites die within a few months.

However, some people experience mild symptoms such as a cough, a fever, headaches and stomach pain.

But in rare cases the roundworm larvae infect organs such as the liver, lungs, eyes or brain and cause severe symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, breathing difficulties and blurred or cloudy vision in one eye.

There is also a risk of permanent vision loss.

As well as criticising the ‘filthy behaviour’ of ‘despicable owners’, Mr Willis has also taken issue with the way dog walkers dispose of their pets’ waste.

He said: “Don’t do what one dog owner did recently; opened one of the council rubbish bins and deposited it there!

“Fortunately the householder saw what happened and told the dog owner in no uncertain terms to take it out!”

And he’s not the first person to take issue with the irresponsible disposal of dog waste.

Earlier this month, one resident wrote to the Bexhill Observer after one dog walker chose to dispose of their dog’s mess in an unconventional fashion - by putting it in a pillar box.

The box, which stands on the corner of Victoria Road and Windsor Road, was sealed off following the incident.