|Roger Hobkinson walks Dalmatian, Henry, as a favour for a friend|
I thank my colleague, Stamp It Out, for sniffing out this gem of news!
The BBC News website has struck upon a most important story from Cornwall. This time, it's Newquay. I must state right at the beginning of this post, that it would be quite unfair to describe Newquay as a toilet anyway. Many people like Newquay. That said, it's no coincidence that William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, was born there.
Mr Hobkinson, pictured above, is a retired police officer, who walks his friends Dalmatian dog, Henry. As you might expect, Henry has to foul the countryside from time to time. It appears that dog wardens are now lurking behind sand dunes and large bushes, waiting for Henry to answer a call of nature.
If Henry leaves a mess on the path, Mr Hobkinson says he clears it up but he draws a line at mess off the path and below the tide mark which he says "will be washed out twice a day". His view has led to him being fined three times since 2010, including £754 by Truro magistrates last Friday. I have cleaned up pets' poo on National Trust beaches, for goodness sake”.
Mr Hobkinson, a volunteer litter picker with the National Trust, has paid up in the past. "I've had enough of them now," he said."There is no way I'm going to pay. I would go to prison."
So we see a moral dilemma evolving here. Is it really dog fouling if the product is swept out to sea to mingle with the excrement produced by seals, whales, star fish etc? Is it really wrong to leave the excrement off path for the dung beetles to remove?
I'm not sure I know the answer but I do know one thing. Mr Hobkinson is a retired police officer. He, therefore, understands how the prison system operates and what happens to ex-police inside. I urge him to pay up and go to appeal and have his case resolved through the due process of law.
At the moment, this gentleman only has to worry about issues relating to the dog's bottom. If he goes to prison, his concern could well shift considerably. Here at Dog Fouling and Red Rubber Bands HQ, we urge him to reconsider his position!