Let’s get straight to it. If you are a dog owner, you will likely fall into one of the following camps;
- The Responsible Owner – Despite the horrible reality of picking up warm, stinking dog poo, you will steel yourself and ensure every doggy deposit is bagged and binned. Job done.
- The Practical Owner – Bags dog poo in every public place, but asserts that scrubby long grass away from paths, people, kids or livestock can cope with the odd dog doo without bagging.
- The Blind Prat Owner – Eyes forward and keep walking, knowing full well their dog had a crap. Won’t pick up unless there is a scary looking witness nearby. Often chooses stealth nighttime dog walking tactics.
- The Absolute Jerk Owner – These people will be smug about picking up poo (‘always pick up’) then hang any bagged poo from trees and fences like flipping Christmas decorations.
- Shouldn’t Have A Dog Owner – Open the front door and let your dog free-range so it can crap anywhere. You are not popular, just so you know.
- Aggressive Prat Owner – Tend to give certain dog breeds a bad name, never pick up dog poo and actively look for someone to challenge them so they can justify a fight.
- The Absolute Arse Owner – Walk their dog in parks and play areas, generally the shortest loop possible from their couch. These lazy idiots allow their dogs to crap where kids play, on paths and pavements and will never pick up as its a nasty job.
Here’s the deal. Unless you fall squarely into camp 1 or 2, you are a prat.
If you can’t stomach picking up your dog’s poo, then perhaps you are not cut out for dog ownership and a hamster would be a more appropriate pet (though they do, also, poop).
If you fall into camps 3-7, please do everyone a favour and rethink your selfish ways? If you can’t do that, you’re a bigger prat than we first thought.
Why Pick Up The Poo?
- it looks nasty, smells worse and has a habit of causing one to slip on pavements
- it sticks to shoes and pram wheels, isn’t easily removed and gets carried from pavement to carpet
- little kids like to place poo in their mouth along with mud and insects
- the local football and rugby teams hate slide-tackling through a sea of poo left by stealth nighttime dog walkers
- its an incredible act of selfishness and your village hates you for it
- dog poo carries a host of potentially dangerous pathogens that affect kids, people & livestock (which is why dog pooing on the local grazing isn’t okay either)
What to do if living in the neighbourhood of dog owners who are inconsiderate prats?
Well, we all know that there are fines and dog wardens, but if these threats aren’t doing the trick then it might be time to think outside of the box. I’m a big advocate of confronting individuals if you catch them, but not everyone feels they can do this.
PAINT ‘N’ SHAME
Using chalk-based spray paint (dissolves in rain water), highlight each and every dog poo in neon colours. This serves to ensure nobody steps in it, and will be seen by the perpetrator each time they revisit their favoured couch loop to walk their dog. Should you have seen the culprit, and know who they are, perhaps the pooches name or the owners initials next to the poop might do the trick? West Dunbartonshire council spray-painted dog mess bright pink in a bid to shock irresponsible owners into changing their bad habits.
FLAG ‘EM UP
Some councils have used flags, planted in the dog poo, to deliver a similar message. The messages could possibly be personalised as required (see above). In the US, residents found humour in an edgy — albeit messy — way to get across a political statement re Donald Trump. I’ll leave you with that thought.
PERSONAL NOTES TO REPEAT OFFENDERS
This has worked for some residents in the UK, but could get a little petty if taken too far. If there is a repeat offender allowing their dog to poop in the same area, a laminated sign expressing the local disgust and the possible next step, might discourage some. Especially in play areas/school grounds etc. Find fence posts or solid structures, pin the notes and watch to see if the the pooping stops. Be aware the lazy will just walk their dog in a different area for a short time.
RETURN TO SENDER
A tricky one, as you would have to be certain re the offender and would need to approach without aggression. Perhaps just picking up the dog poo in question with a poo bag, and dropping the little parcels into their garden or driveway each time might work. They are sure to take a neighbourly hint.
REPORT TO THE LOCAL (STIRLING) COUNCIL
The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 makes it an offence if you do not to clean up after your dog in any public open space subject to:
- a fixed penalty fine of £40 or
- or a report to the Procurator Fiscal resulting in a fine of up to £500
It is an additional offence for the dog owner to refuse to provide their name and address subject to a fine of up to £500
The Dog Warden Service has an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership. Initiatives include:-
- raising awareness with local dog owners in known problem areas e.g. parks
- working with community groups
- giving talks to schools
- participating in the “Crucial Crew” safety programme for primary schools
- visiting local dog clubs
- providing 300,000 free poop scoop bags per year from Council offices, recreation centres and libraries
- erecting “No Fouling” signs and dog bins
If you have a problem with dog fouling in your area the call Stirling Council’s Dog Warden Service on 0845 277 7000
When reporting a dog fouling problem please provide the following information:-
- time of fouling
- owner’s name and address if known
- your own contact details
- any other relevant information e.g. frequency
The actions which the Dog Warden can take to resolve dog fouling problems include:-
- advising the owner of their responsibilities
- where appropriate, raising awareness with local dog owners e.g. in parks
- seeking co-operation of local dog owners by erecting signs and providing dog bins
- where necessary, taking formal action against offenders either by serving a £40 fixed penalty notice or reporting the matter to the Procurator Fiscal
It has been suggested, rather than the unsightly dog poo bags, we just ‘stick ‘n’ flick’……….