Dog owner’s lead campaign

NDET 97091 Lance and Anne Whitehead.
NDET 97091 Lance and Anne Whitehead.

A DOG owner is leading a campaign calling for dogs to be kept under control in Chesterfield’s parks.

Sandra Atkins, of Spital, who has kept dogs for over 20 years, says new rules to force owners to keep their pets on leads are needed to combat attacks and fouling.

NDET 97093 Janet Scholefield and Ella.

NDET 97093 Janet Scholefield and Ella.

She said: “I see the bigger picture, that all our public parks are for everyone to enjoy, safely and cleanly.”

She added: “Our parks and footpaths are getting worse for dog fouling and there are so many dog owners that have no respect for other people using the parks.”

Sandra is set to launch an online petition and is being supported by borough councillor Kenneth Huckle.

Cllr Huckle said: “Sandra has convinced me it is the right thing to do in public parks.

“We are not suggesting that dogs should not be let off to exercise in fields and but it seems sensible where children are to keep dogs on leads.”

The Derbyshire Times visited Holmebrook Valley Country Park to find out what dog walkers thought of the plans.

Janet Scholefield, 58, a qualified dog listener from Chesterfield, said: “I don’t think this legislation is necessary.

“Dog owners who don’t keep their dogs under control are a bad advert for responsible owners.”

Fellow walker Graham Hooper, 70, added: “You have got to use a bit of common sense. I think it’s common courtesy to put your dog on a lead, if say a horse comes.”

Lance Whitehead, 73, of Newbold, said: “We’ve kept dogs all our lives and I don’t think this is a good idea.

“I’ve been walking here since I was a child and there seems to be more and more regulations coming in.

“Bringing your dog to the park could be the only exercise the animal is going to get.”

Mr Whitehead’s wife Anne, 73, added: “Our dogs were always under control because we trained them properly.”

But Derbyshire Times Facebook friends said they backed the campaign.

Kara Taylor Watts said: “Parks are made for children not dogs, and yeah I’ve got a dog too.”

Emily Barrie added: “There are hundreds of fields, walkways and dog friendly trails to let your dogs run free. If there are people and children about I do think a dog should be on a lead.”

Julie Darby said: “I agree dogs should be on leads, not just for safety of people but other animals.”

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