Guernsey Press

Keep your dogs under control, urges Vale senior constable

INCIDENTS of dogs being out of control at Les Amarreurs has left parish officials urging islanders to keep their pets supervised.

Complaints have been made about out of control dogs on the beach at Les Amarreurs and owners not picking up after their pets. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32561464)

But beachgoers yesterday said that they had not experienced out-of-control dogs, neither were they bothered by the problems raised.

A young boy who stepped barefoot into dog poo fuelled Vale’s senior constable Richard Leale to issue the reminder.

‘Responsible dog owners aren’t the problem, it’s those who don’t really know what they’re doing or who won’t take responsibility for their animal at all times,’ he said.

The father of the boy contacted the douzaine and said that there was dog waste left on the beach regularly.

‘We went to Les Amarreurs for a swim and our little boy trod barefoot in dog poo in the grass bank that runs above the boulders opposite the toilet block,’ said the father.

‘Just after my son had trodden in some, a couple of older women with a couple of pomeranian-type dogs let them out of the car to run around while they got their stuff out of the car. They couldn’t see where the dogs were or what they were doing.’

It was not an isolated incident as another person reported a young ridgeback running over people who were laying on the sand at the top of the beach.

Mr Leale suggested that the problem was getting worse after people decided to get pets during the pandemic and lockdowns.

‘I’m not being alarmist about this but the recent attacks in the UK, and some here, show the potential danger dogs can pose unless properly handled,’ he said.

‘Not everyone likes dogs and a lot of people, especially children, are wary of them so if you are an owner please ensure you know where they are and always know what they are doing.’

Robin Le Poidevin, who has recently moved back to the island with his partner and eight-month-old baby, said that dog owners were generally pretty responsible in the area.

‘We have a young baby who likes to put sand in his mouth so it is a concern but for dogs in general we don’t have any problems, we’re happy sticking to a corner of the beach,’ he said.

‘There are restrictions with dogs at times during the year and people do seem to be clearing up after their dogs.’

A dog walker said that she chose to keep her dog on a lead because it had ligament issues.

‘I am aware of some of the problems people have with dogs, but I’ve personally never experienced or seen any,’ she said.

‘I keep my dog on a lead because of his injuries and I don’t want him running around, but 98% of the time with proper training dogs will be fine, however there will always be those who don’t do it.’

Vale alone has 900 registered dogs, with thousands more across the island, which Mr Leale said showed why it was important to ensure they are supervised at all times and waste was properly disposed of.

‘I’d recommend keeping dogs on a lead at all times, particularly on family-friendly places like Les Amarreurs where uncontrolled dogs running around can be intimidating or a nuisance,’ he said.

Police are cracking down on out-of-control dogs and in serious circumstances, owners can face prosecution and fines.