Hykeham Rugby Club removes sign threatening to rub dog owners' faces in mess
Fed-up rugby players have taken down a sign threatening to rub dog owners' faces in excrement if they did not clean up after their pets following complaints.
Hykeham Rugby Club says the problem has become so bad that it has had to halt games to clear dog mess from the pitch and players say they are now at the end of their tether.
They put up a number of signs at The Memorial Hall playing fields in Newark Road to get their message across.
But one, which threatened to rub the dog owner's faces in their pet's poo, has now been removed after it caused offence.
Club chairman Paul Nicholson said that even though the sign had been taken down, dog walkers were still being urged to be considerate.
"It's been an issue on this field for some time," he said.
"In a match I played around 20 years ago, I landed in some dog muck and got it in my eye. I nearly lost my sight and if it had happened to a child they would certainly be blind.
"We had a memorial game two Saturdays ago for one of our colleagues who died and the referee had to stop it three times so we could clear the pitch.
"We've also had cup games that have nearly been abandoned because the dog muck has been so bad.
"I'm a dog owner myself and I always clear up after my dog but some people just don't bother.
"It's a real worry because, at the end of the day, this is a sports field, and even more so as we have youngsters who use it as well.
"We did have one sign that we didn't think was offensive but maybe it wasn't in the right taste, so it has been taken down.
"But we didn't know what else to do about it so that's why we put them up."
Some signs still remain, including one which says: "Would you cover your body in your dog's poo? Thought not, so why should we?"
Don George, 66, from Exmoor Close in North Hykeham, has been walking dogs on the fields for around 12 years.
He says the problem is not the fault of every dog walker but instead a couple of "bad eggs" who do not clean up after their dogs.
He said: "I can understand why the rugby club is frustrated and why they put the signs up – but that one sign was abusive and the majority of us use the dog muck bins provided and clear up.
"There's also two sides to everything and some dog walkers will properly clean the pitch and even pick up litter and muck from other dogs.
"If everyone just cleaned up after themselves there wouldn't be a problem.
"The sign was upsetting to us dog owners but we all have to learn to live with one another because, at the end of the day, our dogs need walking."