To launch its second annual dog fouling campaign The Big Scoop, Dogs Trust has asked the dog owners of tomorrow to make a video expressing their thoughts on the messy topic.
It’s safe to say they are pretty sick of seeing it on their streets and have some tough punishments for dog owners that don’t ‘bag it, bin it.’
With the dog population rocketing to nearly 9 million in the UK in the last two years and deposits of ‘waste’ destined to increase as a result it’s no surprise that, despite the efforts of responsible dog owners, some 97%* of us have ended up with poo on our shoe at some point in our lives.
Dogs Trust has 22 Education & Community Officers around the UK, including one for the North Ireland region who visit schools to talk to schoolchildren about being responsible dog owners. Cathy Clyde ECO for Northern Ireland and based at Dogs Trust Ballymena says:
“As our video shows dog poo is a source of much amusement for our children! But they are also very aware of the dangers to others of not ‘bagging and binning it’ and have some very ingenious solutions for what should happen to those people who don’t pick up! We urge people to remember that if they want to take on a dog and enjoy the fun playtimes, then they must be prepared to scoop the poop too. After all there is no such thing as the dog poo fairy**!””
The issue of poo-ey pavements riles so many of us that, according to Dogs Trust research, some 30% of people have even picked up another dog’s mess in an effort to keep the streets clear and around two-thirds say they would approach someone that tried to walk away without picking up their doggy’s doo. With 8% of dog owners admitting that there had been occasions when even they had failed to scoop the poop, the story just gets murkier.
Despite the penalties already in place for irresponsible dog owners, 70% of people think the Local Authority fines should be increased. Since charities such as Dogs Trust offer free poo bags and many dog owners find that disposable nappy sacks do just as good a job, there really is no excuse not to pick up after your dog.A worrying finding of the survey was that over 42% of people think that dog poo can only be disposed of in special dog waste bins. According to findings by Keep Britain Tidy*** it has been calculated that emptying a specialised dog waste bin can cost councils twice as much as emptying a general one. Yet more evidence of the need to spread the message that any bin will do when disposing of dog waste. And although nearly half of the respondents said some effort is made to dispose of the dog mess in their area, many said the offending item is often bagged but not binned. Instead it is left hanging on a tree or a fence or thrown into the gutter.
This year to highlight the scale of the problem Dogs Trust is also calling on people to share their ‘horror’ stories of stepping in the unspeakable - were you on the way to a wedding, a date or maybe a first interview?
Or to view the video please visit www.thebigscoop.org.uk or log onto Facebook on June 13th and share your ‘horror’ story when you stepped in dog mess (www.facebook.com/DogsTrust).
Dogs Trust works with Local Authorities and schools across the country to educate them about the importance of responsible dog ownership and the need to pick up after their dogs. From providing education workshops to children between 7-11 to supplying councils with free poo bags and accompanying literature the team works with many groups to spread the message.