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athgarvan

It's a Dog's Life

poop3There is an estimated 25,000 dogs in Wexford County creating 10 tonnes of dog mess. To judge by the amount of fouling on the streets in the town here and along the quay-front I would think that a big percentage of that number must be here in the town.

How many times have you or someone you know stepped in dog mess? There are no excuses. Dogs fouling streets and parks is unacceptable. At worse, coming into contact with dog mess or contaminated soil can cause serious eye infection and can even lead to blindness due to an infection called Toxocara canis. I am always conscious of this when I see young children rolling on the grass which people have allowed their dogs to foul.

Here, owners can face an on the spot fine of €150 for not cleaning up after their dog. But do people bother? I have frequently witnessed people allowing their dogs foul the path and walk away leaving a steaming pile behind them. This appears to be acceptable practice by many of the dog owning population of Wexford. The Council do their best. They provide  individual, disposable, paper poop scoopers to the public free of charge, along with poop bins. All being ignored!

Comments

That is disgusting, made worse by the fact they provide waste clean up for free. :o
Hugs, Jon
It's the same everywhere. I often find myself cleaning up other people's dog mess as well as my own. And I suspect that the non-pickers up are also the ones who don't worm their dogs - which is what leads to the Toxocara risk (it's the worms, not the poo - urban foxes are also liable to spread it).

If more councils actually imposed the fines (along with the fines for not having a name and address tag and collar on your dog) it might have some effect (or at least increase local authority income - they do it for illegal car parking).
Such people will make sure their dogs only relieve themselves outside their own garden.
Same issue here. Byelaws are in place but largely ignored and they're pretty hard to enforce.
People in my area (Chicago suburbs) are pretty good about cleaning up after their dogs. We often see owners walking their dogs with plastic bag in hand.

I heard an interesting story on the radio a few months ago. Several of our national parks have removed all their trash bins entirely, asking visitors to carry their garbage out of the park with them. It saves so much money for the park, not needing to empty bins.

The story said that for the most part, visitors were following the new rules, taking their picnic supplies and other garbage with them to throw away at home or the next place they stopped on vacation.

The exception was the dog owners. They'd come prepared with plastic bags, dutifully scoop up the dog waste... then discover there was no bin to throw it away in. Rather than take the waste in their cars, visitors were leaving the bags behind, and park staff were having to pick up dozens of plastic bags along the trails.
Just like what would happen. My friend teaches in a nearby junior school where there are no bins. Their motto is: If you bring it in, you bring it out. It seems to be working.
Maybe the staff should compromise by providing small trash containers with openings just the right size for those bags.
It's a problem here too and the council have recently banned people from letting their dogs run loose on the local playing fields. Too many games of rugby had had to be halted while mess was cleared up.

I don't understand the owners. If you take on the responsibility of a dog, you should be prepared to clear up after them. I don't have a dog, but I walk one for some elderly friends and I always clear it up if he does a poo while we're out. You just need to be organised with the right bags. It's not hard to do.
The best investment I've made for my dogs was in a Dicky Bag A sealed neoprene bag that contains plastic poo bags in the lid, and will take the full bag in discrete, odourless safety until you find a disposal bin. Expensive, but a lot cheaper than the £100 fine for letting it lie.
I think this is one case where we Americans have you beat. My two puppies poop 5-6 times a day between them, and you better believe I clean it up. At our park, which is open to dogs, there are poop bags available, and a $200 fine if you don't use them, and worse the condemnation of all the other dog owners. I think this behavior is pretty standard across the US.

Now, if we could just do something about the cats.
How is the system overseen? Is there a park ranger? How about the streets?
I think it's mostly peer pressure. It's a city park so it's under the jurisdiction of the city police, but I've never seen anyone get a ticket. We live in the suburbs so there is plenty of grass to poop on along the walkways, and most streets have sidewalks. If you walk your dogs past the same houses day after day I just don't see how you can't clean up after your dogs. It's just expected.
Streets round here aren't bad - of course, I am not a distance walker so it may be a problem in places! My experience though is that 90% of the dog walkers I see usually have a smelly nappy sack they are carrying...

To be honest, I think a more serious problem are the cats, actually. Their waste also contains the Toxocariasis and is really, really dangerous for pregnant women. And what are they using for their toilets? Why our gardens! Even worse, it isn't in plain sight, but buried where you don't expect it. You should be safe in your own garden, especially if you don't have pets, but I always end up with a carrier bag of cat poo which I have to dispose of whenever I do my weeding. It must be a nightmare for people with children.

Cat owners get off extremely lightly in my opinion.
To be honest, I think a more serious problem are the cats, actually. Their waste also contains the Toxocariasis and is really, really dangerous for pregnant women. And what are they using for their toilets? Why our gardens!

So how many cases of Toxocariasis have actually occurred in your area in the past year?

Athgarvan said:
At worse, coming into contact with dog mess or contaminated soil can cause serious eye infection and can even lead to blindness due to an infection called Toxocara canis.

Again, how many cases are actually occurring?
Irrespective of the figures, it remains extremely unpleasant dealing with animal waste, trodden in or inadvertently picked up especially if you don’t own one. When I had dogs I always picked up because my dog, my responsibility. No idea whose responsibility the felines using my flower beds as a toilet are...
Unless the actual local incidence of human disease from animal feces is greater than, say, being struck by lightning, then I think it's irresponsible to invoke that remote (and perhaps theoretical) danger when one's real motive is to avoid personal unpleasantness.

Unfortunately, 'X can cause SCARY BIG LATIN WORD DISEASE' can panic people into mistreating their own pets (or panic a local government into making draconian anti-pet laws that cause mistreatment -- or death of pets when scared owners turn them into 'kill shelters').

In this imperfect world, kids drop candy wrappers (and how many diseases can they carry?), babies in diapers ride in grocery carts! Kids make noise which can disturb neighbors or others, motorbikes make noise and pollute the air....

To me, as a dog lover, this is in the same category of people on bikes (I'm also an avid cyclist) who run stop signs. Sure a lot of people do it, it might be convenient for you, and it's likely that nobody's going to say anything. It probably won't even do a lot of harm. But there's a chance that it will, and it's not OK.

Edited at 2014-01-27 22:49 (UTC)
The streets here are pretty clean, though you do have to dodge around the odd...doo. Worse is the little park outside our house, where all and sundry walk their dogs. I wouldn't set foot into that place.
I never walk my dog without a plastic baggie. Not much problem with dog poop where I live, thank goodness. Now GEESE poop is another matter, lol.