Disgusted visitors plea ‘Don’t let dogs foul on graves’

St Pauls church warden Pat Mosley and associate priest Revd Mark Umpleby.
St Pauls church warden Pat Mosley and associate priest Revd Mark Umpleby.

Piles of dog poo have been left on the graves of loved ones in a village churchyard.

Disgusted relatives visiting St Paul’s Church in Hanging Heaton have found mess along the pathways of the graveyard and in some cases even on the graves of the deceased.

Revd Mark Umpleby, associate priest for the parishes of Batley, Purwell and Hanging Heaton, said: “We have been aware of this problem for some time now.

“Friends and relatives visiting the graveyard have reported discovering dog mess on their loved ones graves which has been causing a lot of upset.

“We at St Paul’s do not want people coming across this.

“We want our graveyard to be a welcoming place for people and it is most upsetting for those who do come to find a dog has fouled on the grave of the loved one they are coming to remember and spend time with.”

One woman, who found a pile of mess on the grave of her late father when she visited last month, spent the day clearing up the site and collected 61 bags full of poo.

Revd Umpleby said: “She was understandably unhappy at what she had found.

“It is the responsibility of dog owners to clean up after their pets, and a lot of people do.

“But some people are causing a problem for the rest of visitors.

“We have put signs up asking for dogs to be kept on leads and for people to pick up after their dogs but for some reason that does not seem to be happening in every case.

“We don’t want relatives to come across these upsetting scenes. And we urge all those who visit to be responsible and clean up their dog mess.”