Fury over 'disrespectful' dog owners letting pets run over graves

Stephanie Israel, 55, said she was furious after she witnessed dogs running across graves in Sprowston

Stephanie Israel, 55, said she was furious after she witnessed dogs running across graves in Sprowston - Credit: Archant

Families mourning their beloved relatives have been horrified to see out of control dogs charging over graves. 

Off lead pooches have been spotted running amuck in Sprowston Cemetery - despite notices stating dogs must be kept under control.

Stephanie Israel, 55, was picking up litter in the cemetery at around 7.30pm last Friday.

She was with her six-year-old Kerry Blue Terrier, Magnus, when a mixed breed Chow Chow came hurtling towards her. 

She was concerned for her own dog which had recently been attacked and shouted at the Chow Chow owner to put the dog on a lead. 

However, Mrs Israel - who is an admin officer - said she was ignored as the dog continued to run around the cemetery - including over multiple graves. 

Mrs Israel said: "They should not be turning up in a dog lead area if they are going to let the dog run around.

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"There is a field literally just across the road and the Recreation Ground nearby if they wanted to do that.

"Anyone who has a relative buried in the cemetery and sees a dog charging around will find it completely disrespectful. Families do not want to see that.

"I have seen this happen all year round."

Mrs Israel regularly picks up litter in the city.

Stephanie Israel collects litter on her way to and from work each day and wants to encourage everyon

Stephanie Israel collects litter on her way to and from work each day and wants to encourage everyone in Norwich to keep our city clean. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

She has previously complained to the town council about dogs also being out of control in Harrison's Wood.

"There is no responsibility," she continued. "I am not sure if it's to do with lockdown and people getting dogs for the wrong reasons or not training them.

"As a responsible dog owner it's very frustrating." 

Bill Couzens, chairman of Sprowston Town Council, said: "Obviously we don't have staff at the cemetery full time but if they do see any unwanted behaviour when there, they will challenge it." 

Sprowston town councillor Bill Couzens who has lived in the town for 30 years

Sprowston Town Council chairman Bill Couzens - Credit: Santos Photography

Sprowston town clerk Guy Ranaweera said: "Most dog walkers who visit the cemetery are considerate and respectful but during working hours council staff will challenge any inappropriate behaviour if they witness it.

"We can put up more ‘dogs on leads’ signage at the cemetery, but by-and-large public open spaces are reliant on visitors acting with responsibility and consideration towards others."