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Row erupts after car boot sale bans dogs and even threatens to call the police; Sully Sports Club say they made the decision after receiving complaints from sellers because dogs had 'urinated on stalls'.

Byline: Jessica Walford

A row has erupted between dog lovers and the organisers of a car boot sale after they banned dogs from their site.

TheSullySports Club car boot sale in theVale of Glamorganbanned dogs three years ago after they received complaints from sellers about dogs urinating on their stalls.

They now also have a "dog enforcement officer" and have warned they will call the police if necessary.

The car boot sale, which is held every Sunday morning during the spring and summer, will next be held on April 29.

Organisers decided to remind people of the ban by posting about it on Facebook.

The post read: "We would like to remind all buyers and sellers that we operate a ZERO TOLERANCE approach to dogs at our car boot sales. Therefore, any dog owner with their dog/dogs will be asked to leave Sully Sports and Social Club's grounds immediately, the only exception being assistance dogs.

"Furthermore, any dog owner that is physically or verbally abusive towards out dog enforcement officer or any of our stewards will be banned from attending any future car boot sales.

"Not only is dog mess unpleasant, it is a public health hazard and we take our duty of care to all sport team members, staff and visitors to the club, very seriously. We are primarily a sports club; ALL the grounds are either used for training purposes or are sports pitches that are used by sportsmen/boys and women/girls from five years old upwards."

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It added: "Please don't think that we are anti-dogs, we are not, but our car boot sales are not a suitable place to bring them. Please respect our NO DOG rule and leave your dog at home, no matter if you are a buyer or seller."

The post went viral with thousands of people commenting and sharing it.

Club Secretary Fred Johnson said it led to over 25,000 hits on their website, with 6,000 likes on the post itself.

The club then took the decision to take the post down on Wednesday .

Fred said: "We can have up to 2,000 people on the site, so we have 15 or 16 stewards and one of these is designated as a dog warden.

"His job is to speak to people and ask them to take them [the dog] off the site. Obviously if somebody won't leave the site, we will call the police.

"What happens is people are rummaging at a car boot and a dog cocks its leg up on the merchandise. The stallholders have come to the club and complained about dogs ruining their merchandise.

"It's difficult for us to know if a dog's been well trained. You can't police that. The only way you're going to be sure is to ban all dogs.

"Only this year this has all happened. It's just snowballed."

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Fred said the ban came into place after an application to turn the fields into a village green was turned down.

He said: "The inspector has said we are private land and people shouldn't be walking on it without our permission. We told people who wanted to walk their dogs on the playing fields that it's not safe for our sportsmen and women. We have 28 football teams. It's not safe."

But the post hasn't gone down well with some dog lovers.

Anita Andrews, 72, fromBarry, hasn't been to the sale since they banned dogs.

She said: "I'm very disappointed that the ban is there. Myself and my husband used to love to go there and with the amount of people there, someone would soon say something if you just let your dog mess there.

"All the dogs are on leads so I don't see the problem as I have never ever seen dog mess"

But some other dog owners support the ban.

Bethan George, 35, fromCardiff, said: "I agree with the ban on dogs as the boot sale is held on a sports ground and am aware of the fact dog faeces can cause blindness if it gets into someone's eyes.

"Unfortunately there are too many people who don't pick up their dogs mess so it would be highly likely some would be left on pitches."

But she said if the sale wasn't held on a sports ground, her views would be different.

She said: "For example, in Carmarthen they hold a car boot sale in a showground where they have cattle shows and so I can't see a small amount of dog mess being a major concern there. But with children and adults playing on the sports pitches, then they would have more problems if mess was left behind.

"Obviously I am a responsible dog owner myself and feel that all mess should be collected."

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Credit: Sully Sports Club

The Facebook post

Credit: Sully Sports Club

The car boot sale at Sully Sports Club
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Publication:Wales Online (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 14, 2018
Words:839
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