A dog poo hunt in Burgess Hill shamed ‘selfish’ owners amid fears for the health of children.
A dedicated team of volunteers, councillors and park rangers spray painted the offending faeces and marked them with a flag, which explained that it was ‘left for you by a selfish dog owner’.
Councillor Pru Moore said: “What people don’t realise is that more than 100 children a year lose an eye after dog poo gets in it when they’re rolling around on the ground.
“It grieves me that people have to spend an hour and a half cleaning it up every week, people just won’t use the bin, it’s so irresponsible, just clean it up.”
Toxocariasis can be caused when microscopic worms, often found in dog poo, enter the eye.
Sufferers can be blinded and in extreme cases need to have an eye removed to prevent the infection spreading to their brain.
Dominic Moore, chairman of The Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network, said: “Burgess Hill is plagued with litter and dog mess, and the little kids roll around in it.
“Earlier I saw a long length of paper someone had used to wipe their backside, and last year I found some used nappies in a bag.”
The team also went litter picking, clearing the waste such as beer cans, cigarette butts and crisp packets that taints Burgess Hill’s streets and parks.
“It’s been a dreadful problem and people are totally cheesed off,” councillor Moore added.
Freeda Thomas, from Burgess Hill, was also worried about the danger to children.
She said “It’s so dangerous, little worms go into their eyes and blind them.
“It’s antisocial and disrespectful.”
Councillor Moore is part of the newly formed Neighbourhood Panel, who made the decision that action was needed to highlight the problem of inconsiderate dog owners.
“It’s difficult to get evidence, there’s no fingerprinting available,” she joked.
“The last resort is to prosecute people, we don’t want to do that, we just want to ask people can’t you have a better habit?
“Some of the kids have started playing a game when they throw a bottle and hit it with a bat, I’m worried about people’s safety.
“People live in closer quarters now, we all have to take responsibility.”