Cleaning Up After Your Dog
A Poo in the Park
I love to take a walk in the wildlife preserve that is close to my home. It is the one haven of peace in what is otherwise a busy urban area with an overload of traffic. The park is a mere 500 yards from my front door and yet I have to risk life and limb in order to get there. Motorists have a tendency to plough through red lights at the pedestrian crossing near the entrance. Then I have to negotiate the poo in the park!
Is Pooping a Surprise?
I find the extent of the soiling to be extremely provoking. Poop bins are provided at the entrances to the park and it can’t come as much of a surprise to the dogs’ owners when their pets need to relieve themselves. Most owners are clearly extremely conscientious and I am always pleased when I see them bend down to pick up the mess. However, I regularly have to negotiate piles of poop as I walk along the trails.
More Work for Volunteers
The park concerned is maintained by volunteers which makes the situation even more annoying. I cannot see any good reason why people who give their time for free should waste it picking up other people’s mess. Surprisingly there isn’t much of a litter problem for them to deal with but the dog mess is another matter.
Perhaps the volunteer service should now extend to dog mess patrols. A dog owner is committing an offence if they do not clean up their pet’s poop when in a public place. If they are caught, a fixed penalty will be issued and if this isn’t paid then the case will proceed to the Magistrates Court where the offender could be fined up to £1,000. If a few of the negligent dog walkers were identified and fined it might deter others from being so lax in the future.
Never Caught in the Act
Whilst allowing dogs to foul public areas is an offence, the offender must be caught in the act in order to be punished. Most fouling isn’t witnessed and even if it is, people can be scared to report what they have seen for fear of retribution. Some areas of my local park are quite isolated and under-used and so any fouling which takes place would almost certainly go unreported.
Last week when I was walking in the park there was a group of people from Search and Rescue exploring the fields and probing in the river. It was probably a training exercise as I didn’t hear any reports of dead bodies being found. But I did wonder if an angry visitor had witnesses a dog messing incident and taken the law into their own hands!
Poop in Paris
Thankfully, things are not as bad in Berkshire as they are in Paris. In my personal experience, Paris is the poop capital of the world! The streets there are so badly affected that you find yourself having to play hopscotch to avoid the poo. The locals seem untroubled by this state of affairs but it does rather take the gloss off of a trip to the city.