Dog dirt around a primary school in Hawick is endangering the health of pupils, warn staff there.
The problem in the streets around Trinity School, in Trinity Street, is now so bad that a designated member of staff or an adult helper is given the role of canine excrement lookout when pupils take the five-minute walk to the baths at Teviotdale Leisure Centre.
The situation has worsened in recent weeks, and deputy head Jamie Wilson contacted Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson to ask for his support and advice.
The two men have now made a plea for dog owners to clean up their acts and pick up after their pets.
Mr Wilson said: “It really is unacceptable. I have been at the school for just over a year, and it has been a persistent problem throughout that time, but it seems to have got worse recently. We have a member of staff or adult helper leading the children to the baths and looking out for dog dirt, a problem that is particularly bad closest to the school.
“The children are very good and are aware that they need to be careful. You would think that dog owners would realise they should always pick up after their pet, particularly so close to the school, but sadly that is not the case.”
Mr Paterson, a long-time campaigner for responsible pet ownership, said children had been trailing dog dirt back into the school on their shoes.
He added: “Mr Wilson was saying that it has got so bad that when they have to take children out to the baths, they have to have someone in front to look out for dog mess.
“It seems to be getting out of hand. Some children have even trailed it into the school.
“This is being caused by some irresponsible dog owners in the streets adjacent to the school. This is a real health hazard, and I would appeal to dog owners just to use some common sense and pick up after their pets.”