Why Pick Up?
We’ve probably all experienced that moment, where you walk through the door and suddenly smell something odd. You then look under your shoe and realise you’ve walked in dog poo!
Not only is it a nuisance for everyone but it is actually a Public Health Risk. Contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures. Although the majority of dog owners are responsible, there are a few who think it’s ok to leave it- or worse bag it and then leave it! The common excuses for not picking up after their dogs range from ‘there are no bins around’, ‘oh, I didn’t see that they had been’ and ‘I was going to pick it up on my way back’. All are not acceptable!
In October 2018 we focused our campaigning on tackling the dog fouling problem in and around Burnham. In addition to carrying out a spray campaign – involving spraying dog poo with chalk paint – we engaged with the local community through organising a dog walk and held an evening talk with a local vet and dog wardens.
We concentrated our spray survey in two areas renowned as dog fouling hotspots, Gore Alley and the path leading to Apex Park from the Sailing club. Once we had sprayed and counted the poo’s, we would leave them for a day before getting them cleaned up, ready for the next spray. The idea behind this, is that it highlights the problem and shows people that it isn’t going unnoticed. A bit of a Big Brother effect!
We saw a drastic reduction in fouling along Gore Alley. We counted 41 the first week, then it reduced to 13 and the final survey had 6. In comparison, we had a slight decrease, then increase on the Apex Park path.
What Can You Do?
- Report It: The local dog wardens are encouraging the public to report dog fouling offenders in their neighbourhood. If you notice a reoccurring offender, then take note of: a) breed and colour of dog b) time of day and c) description of the owner. This will improve enforcement action on the issue. Please note, they strongly urge you not to take photos of the public.
- Remember: Dog poo can go in ANY bin and there is no excuse to throw bagged dog poo in a shrub/tree. No bin…then take it home.
- Volunteer: Whether it’s carrying out sprays with our volunteers or creating a new group to lead dog walks, to engage with other dog walkers about their responsibilities to pick up after their dogs.
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