A DORCHESTER resident’s novel idea to promote responsible dog ownership is taking off.

Ross Cumber decided to set up a Facebook group after being horrified by reports of a dog attack on a steer at Poundbury Fields.

The site is an online discussion board where dog owners can post information on where cattle and livestock are grazing, so that people know to be careful around those areas and avoid if necessary.

And the group is proving as popular with farmers as it is with dog owners.

Mr Cumber said: “A lot was being written on Facebook following the incident at Poundbury Fields about how farmers should be more responsible and put up signs stating where livestock are grazing.

“But it is up to the dog owners to make sure their pets are under control.

“I had an idea to set up something that dog owners can use as a resource to share information about where livestock is, to help spread the word and make more people aware.”

Mr Cumber, who regularly walks his 18-month springer spaniel Dexter around the county town, said it can be difficult for dog owners who may not immediately be aware on entering a field that cattle are grazing.

He added that the site is reliant on people using it to post information.

“It’s been really popular. I thought it would be a good idea but I was surprised at just how quickly it took off.

“It had around 70 ‘likes’ overnight and has been steadily growing in popularity ever since.”

Local farmers have also got involved.

Mr Cumber said: “I know the farmer who owns land at Dorset County Showground, where I often walk Dexter, and he has been really supportive and helpful.

“I also have another person helping me with admin and she has suggested working with farmers to arrange an event where dog owners could train their pets around livestock and help them get used to it.

“It would obviously still be important to make sure dogs are on leads around cattle and sheep, but anything that can help stop attacks happening has got to be a good idea.”

Visit Dorset Dog Walking Information Community on Facebook for more details.