The Environment and Community Development (ECD) Team is the larger team that includes recycling and also Animal Welfare. This is why we’ve previously covered and promoted stories relating to dog activities. But there is also an environmental aspect to this in that this team work tirelessly with dog owners to ensure they are responsible when keeping a dog and always clean up after their dog when out walking them.
On Friday 2nd of November, Lewisham Council’s Animal Welfare Service held its 3rd Dog Activity day in Fordham Park SE14. The aim of these days is to encourage, reward and promote responsible dog ownership This day also saw the launch of Lewisham’s new Green Dog Walker scheme.
The Lewisham Green Dog Walker’s scheme is a non–confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. Residents are asked to sign the following pledge to take part in the scheme. In return for signing up to the scheme they receive a free gift for their dog and some poo bags.
1. I will clean up after my dog and dispose of the bag in a bin. When others walk my dog, I will encourage them to clean up after my dog.
2. I pledge to ensure that my dog will wear a collar with a plate or tag, with my contact details inscribed on it.
3. I will carry extra dog-waste bags to distribute to other walkers if requested.
4. As no time will I aggressively confront other dog walkers about dog fouling. I fully understand that the Green Dog Walkers scheme is intended to be a non-confrontational and friendly campaign to change attitudes about dog fouling.
5. I agree that Lewisham Green Dog Walkers may contact me to take part in questionnaires or surveys regarding my Green Dog Walker experience to help judge the success of the project.
Despite the freezing cold weather lots of dog owners turned up with their dogs to enjoy the fun and enter the competition classes, Robert Alleyene of Dog Borstal fame was on hand to judge the winners.
Waggiest Tail was a closely fought contest with several dogs in the running. Owners were encouraged to do everything they could to get their dogs tails wagging as much as possible. Ellie an American Spaniel owned by Barbara Mews eventually won, she looked very pleased with her rosette.
In the Childs Best Friend class entrants, children had to enter the ring with their dog and tell the judge why they loved their dog and why it should win. All of the entrants loved their dogs and gave some very funny answers, we particularly liked Angelina’s who said she loved her dog Knight the Staffie because he gets in more trouble than her! However there could only be one winner and that was Chloe with her 13 week old Boxer puppy Marmite.
The Best Biscuit Catcher produced hilarious results with some dogs failing to even notice that a biscuit had been thrown or preferring to wait until it had landed before eating it. Kiki the Staffie eventually beat Zeus the Malamute and Yoko the Chihuahua X to 1st place.
Best Trick was the most anticipated class of the day with owners eager to show us their dogs skills. Meg the Rottweiler came 3rd, her owner Kate had brought her along to our free chipping day earlier in the week and been shown to get her to speak by Battersea’s behaviourist Ali Taylor. 2nd was Mia the Staffie. Mia is partially blind and her owner Sandy had taught her an amazing array of skills. 1st place went to Zeus the Alaskan Malamute, despite being notoriously difficult to train Zeus’s owner Darren had worked very hard and impressed Robert Alleyene with his skills.
Finally it was time for Best in Show. This was won by Chloe and her Boxer Marmite. Despite being only 13 weeks old Marmite was the best behaved dog of the day and she was handled beautifully by Chloe.
Overall the day was a huge success and we look forward to planning another one next year.
For more information on Lewisham Councils Animal Welfare Department and the services they provide please visit the council website www.lewisham.gov.uk and for more information on the Green Dog Walkers Scheme contact Stella Agunabor 020 8314 2068 or firstname.lastname@example.org