CLUTCHING their punctured football, twins Phillip and Anne Smith show how dogs keep ruining their playtime.
The animals keep pestering them at Jubilee Park in Horndean – with one canine even leaving them feeling deflated by biting a hole in their ball.
The eight-year-olds decided enough was enough and designed a poster to tell dog owners to keep their hounds under control.
The pair sent the poster to Horndean Parish Council.
Councillors supported it and now the authority has put up the poster around the park.
Anne was also concerned as she rides her bike in the park and continues to get back home with dog mess on her tyres.
In his letter to the council, Phillip said: ‘This dog grabbed my ball and broke it.
‘It was the third ball it had broken in the park that day because some other boys said it had done the same to theirs.
‘I am very upset as it was my favourite ball and now it is ruined. It is not fair that dog owners are spoiling the park for us.
‘My sister, Anne, has made a poster asking dog owners to clear up their dogs’ mess and to keep dogs under control and we would like them up in Jubilee Park where we go to play.’
The twins’ mum, Carol Smith, said she was proud of their efforts. The 48-year-old, of Catherington Lane, Horndean, added: ‘Lots of dog owners think their dogs are wonderful. They probably are.
‘But not everybody likes dogs, especially children. To get a dog bounding up to them can be quite frightening for children.’
Dog fouling is banned at the park, but there are no rules about keeping dogs on a lead.
Tracy Predeth, parish council clerk, said it was something the council would be discussing at a meeting on August 13.
Dog control orders were discussed several years ago, but there was opposition from pet owners.
Mrs Predeth said: ‘Jubilee Field is an enclosed area so residents feel comfortable in letting their dogs off a lead, and even though most dog owners are responsible, there are a number that are not.
‘Jubilee Field is used a lot for sporting activities so this creates a problem.’