Grieving mum’s outrage at graveyard dog foulers

Wayne and Julie Roberts by the side of their daughter Stacey's grave in Howe Bridge Cemetary
Wayne and Julie Roberts by the side of their daughter Stacey's grave in Howe Bridge Cemetary
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A Wigan mum has expressed disgust at the discovery that dog owners have been allowing their pets to foul her daughter’s graveside.

Julie Roberts regularly visits the final resting place of teenager Stacey at Howe Bridge Cemetery in Atherton and has been shocked and distressed to discover piles of dog faeces on the grass nearby.

She says that the situation is bordering on the sacrilegious and is calling for those owners to be called to account.

The 54-year-old, who has three other children, as well as seven grandchildren, said: “Stacey died in 2000, aged 19, after a complication with her measles vaccination.

“She is also buried with my dad, Colin Pilkington, who died in October 2014.

“My brother is buried two rows behind.

“It is a sacred place where I can speak to my angel and then I spot a pile of dog muck. I am mortified.

“I see people letting their dogs roam about. Dogs should not be on the grass.

“My pet dog idolised my dad, but I would never dream of taking him to the cemetery.

“There is a walkway around the cemetery so why can’t people amble round that way, instead of going through the cemetery?

“It is not the dog’s fault - they just see grass and do their business. I blame their owners as they should clean up after them.

“They should not be walking there at all.

“I have also had things kicked off my daughter’s grave, which is very upsetting.

“I wish more care was taken of people’s graves.”

Paul Barton, assistant director for operational services at Wigan Council, said: “Irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs foul without cleaning up are a major nuisance to communities and pose a risk to the health of people.

“In Atherton the council is planning to work with local groups to highlight the issue and to get tougher on the perpetrators with more enforcement action.

“To do this we need the help of local people to report incidents to us so we can catch the culprits.”

Anyone caught in charge of a dog fouling public places will be hit with a hefty fine.

To report an incident of dog fouling, residents are encouraged to use the Report It app or go online at www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit

Residents are encouraged to give much intelligence as they can about the person responsible - times, days, descriptions - which will help environmental officers patrol the area at the right time and have the best chance of witnessing and dealing with the incident.