Pupils from Seal Primary Academy in Selsey have teamed up with Chichester District Council to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets.
As part of the council’s Ideas into Action project, year five pupils worked with the youth engagement team to create their own political parties to help tackle the issues that bother them.
One group formed the Puppy Party to take a stand against dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets and raise awareness of the health and environmental risks that dog fouling poses.
Roger Barrow, cabinet member for contract services at Chichester District Council, said: “This is incredibly timely. As a council, we are working hard to crack down on incidents of dog fouling in the district. Not only does it blight our environment, it is also a risk to our health. Well done to the children for highlighting this important issue.”
The children have been working with Pallant House Gallery to create their own attention-grabbing dog sculpture, inspired by the Brighton and Hove Snowdogs by the Sea trail.
The Puppy Party dog is made from fibreglass and the pupils have been enjoying a series of workshops in which they painted it. They chose the name Patchy Wood, inspired by a painting by artist Christopher Wood which they saw in the gallery.
Kiki Claxton, learning programme manager at Pallant House Gallery, said: “This has been a fantastic project from start to finish. It has been a great collaboration between three organisations raising awareness around an important cause but also highlighting the importance of creativity.
“The children were so innovative with their ideas and opened us up to a new way of engaging and looking at our collection. Christopher Wood would be proud.”
The children are taking their dog to events throughout the district this summer, providing free poop bags and giving out leaflets about the risks that dog fouling poses.
Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, said: “This is a great example of how our Ideas into Action scheme helps to get young people engaged with issues in their local community.
“I’m sure the children’s campaign will help to get people thinking about what it means to be a responsible dog owner.”