This July, Huntingdonshire District Council will be celebrating canine companions. Did you know that in the past 18 months dog ownership has increased by 2 million in the UK! Throughout the pandemic, our furry friends have been our nature connectors, mischievous entertainers, and mood boosters. This is why, in connection with Love Parks week, we will be celebrating our dogs’ love for parks and raising awareness of responsible dog ownership with a Paws in the Park day at Hill Rise, St Ives on the 17 July from 10am - 3pm.

This July we will be focussing our efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership around the district. This will see the launch of our Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, whereby temporary stencils will be used within our car parks to remind people of the importance of not leaving dogs in cars. There will also be an accompanying social media campaign to educate on what to do if you see a dog in distress.

With an increase in dogs, also comes an increase in dog fouling. We are excited to link up to the Lily’s Kitchen #PoopTroop Campaign, where throughout the month of July we will be trialling the use of poop bag dispensers to reduce dog fouling. Shockingly, 64% of residents in the UK felt dog fouling was an issue in their local area and that 31% of people confessed to not picking up after their dog as they feel plastic bags are wasteful (Lily’s Kitchen, 2020). As part of the #PoopTroop campaign, Lily’s Kitchen has released biodegradable and compostable bags for use within their dispensers, which will be installed at Hill Rise Dog Park in St Ives and Priory Park in St Neots.

Executive Councillor for Operations and Environment, Councillor Marge Beuttell, said: "Each year it is a key reminder for residents of the dangers that leaving your dog in a hot car can pose. We initially began the Dogs Dies in Hot Cars campaign in 2019 and continue to spread that message each summer in car parks across the district. This year, however, we are combining our efforts with the green message that comes from looking after our dogs in the most environmentally friendly way, utilising eco-friendly waste products and supporting the cleanliness of our parks and open spaces to ensure that we are looking after Huntingdonshire’s fantastic environment as a great place to live and explore."

We will be raising awareness online of the canine code of conduct in our parks and explaining the importance of keeping your dog on a lead. Our Open Spaces team will be attending with information about park walks, listening to your suggestions and comments and giving out treats.

We will also be joined by Wood Green and Companion Pet Care Services. Wood Green will be offering free community drop-ins so that they can tell locals about the free support services and help answer any questions that pet owners may have. Companion Pet Care Services will be explaining the services that they offer and hosting a pet-related jumble sale to support their Hill Rise Dog Park Community Fund.

In addition, we will be hosting a virtual dog show through our Love Huntingdonshire social media channels, where residents can send in pictures and videos of their dogs. Entering will in turn educate others by share information surrounding responsible dog ownership and more. Prizes from Lily’s Kitchen give your pet a chance to be part of our future social media campaigns!

Prizes are available for the winners of each category, including:

  • Golden Oldie

  • Cutest Puppy

  • Funniest Dog

  • Biggest Nose

  • Best Trick

  • Waggiest Tail

  • Best Rescue

  • Judges' Favourite

Prizes have kindly been donated by Lily’s Kitchen, Skipper’s, Soopa, Forthglade, Marvellous Maps and Treasure Trails.