Putting your foot in it: the dog mess problem

Dog mess – the perennial countryside management issue. Some people love dogs, others don’t, but all unite in disliking dog mess. No really, they do. Even the most ardent dog-lover can’t admit to liking the stuff. Well, anyway, if they do, the Ranger doesn’t want to hear anything about that.

Bag it and bin it!

Country parks and nature reserves are popular haunts of what rangers call the ‘dog emptiers’. These are people who drive up, let the dog out to run about like a mad thing, and then once the dog is emptied, call it reluctantly back and drive off. Hardly much fun for the dog, and worse for the poor blighter who then treads in what the dog left behind. Whilst such antisocial types are extreme, they are a lot more common than you’d think. Many more are almost as bad, walking perhaps 100m at most from the car park to allow their poor dog to squeeze out a steaming pile before it’s hustled back into the boot of the car. Why have a dog at all if you’re not going to walk it? It seems so harsh to take a dog to the countryside – in a car, it’s always in a car – and then not let the poor creature enjoy the place. Campaigns to ‘Bag it and Bin it’, backed up by fines, patrols, on-the-spot fines, free poop-scoops, dog bins, wardens, dog-free areas, bye-laws… it’s all been tried. And yet the problem remains. Today the Ranger got the bill for emptying the dog bins at a popular countryside site he works on.

16 thoughts on “Putting your foot in it: the dog mess problem”

  1. I live in California and have now been witnessing so many times that people don’t pick up after their dogs or only pick up if they see that someone is watching. Given all the parasites and worms, etc. that can be transferred by poo (of course not only dogs’ but I have not come across human feces on the streets yet!!!) it is irresponsible to leave dog poo specially where people have picnics and/or kids play. Not to mention extremely disgusting. I see many nice picnic places that are nicely equipped abondand because lets face it how would want to watch dog poo while they are eating their hot dogs? Dog owners, be good citizens and obey the laws. They do apply to YOU.

  2. Stainsby girl, i think that dog poo is far more unpleasant than screaming kids or indeed motorbikes. Getting that stuff on you is a nightmare. you say you are a responsible dog owner. are you telling us you picked up every single turd your dog ever did and then put it in a bin? I doubt it. Its vile. The fact that there are other antisocial problems in our countryside does not make irresponsible dog owners any better. the suggestion that parents should control kids and THEN dog owners will take more responsibility for their beasts is ubsurd.

  3. personally, i think if effort was concentrated on the ways out of the problems rather than stressing over it we would be better off. dog bins are the problem. i have noticed that where there are more dog bins there are much less piles of poo. i have just moved to a small town after living in the city for a few years, in the city there were lots of bins and not much poo [and greater funds to get the bins out and emptied by the council] and here in this little town which seems to be left to its own devices by the council, there are no bins for a mile or more which ever way you go and i find myself walking for ages holding my dogs waste longing to find a skip in someones front garden. ive seen people pick up dog poo in a plastic bag then throw it into someones garden – yes some people have no respect or understanding – in those cases there needs to be a severe dose of awareness. most people arent like that tho and we should manifest the positives to make better things happen. so lets get on the dog bin front. psychologically if you see dog bins around you will be drawn to using them just because they are there and you know what they are for. its up to the councils im afraid but that is up to us to pester untill they sort it. or raise funs ourselves which could be fun and spread awareness and positivity. and if you see someone leave poo say something if you can[not angrilly it wll just make it worse] if its not the norm then its less likely to happen – if you get my meaning.

  4. That’s highly entertaining!! I think they should replace the spike with a nice comfy rubber bung, though. it would have the same effect… 😉

  5. I am interested in the comments by our members across the pond and can see some value in the idea, but I in answer to toxicity of dog poo. It’s alot less toxic than the exhaust of trials bikes and alot less dangerous. I would like to see some energy in dealing with that aspect of the rangers work and children lighting fires against trees so killing the tree and risking forest fires at the same time as burning platic canisters and smashing glass bottles. I’m sure, APC, they are enjoying themselves, unfortunately the rest of us are not. Perhaps parents should keep control of their offspring and dog owners will take responsibility for their pets and good time would be had by all. I assure you dog poo is only a small part of the misuse of our countryside

  6. What a fantastic idea! I’d suggest that you keep it nice and non-confrontational, as the potential for conflict between doggies and non-doggies is always simmering away. Cheery ribbons sounds great in this regard. Perhaps you can invite the local media – sounds like the sort of story they’d leap at.

  7. Our gang of wardens are embarking upon dog poo awareness mornings in our local area. We’re gonna hand out leaflets, bags and mark the poo we find that morning with sticks and ribbon to make it very visual. Any other ideas to scare people into submission???

  8. I live in California, where the dog poo cleanup has been the law for over twenty years. A supervisor/councilman from San Francisco initiated the first law in the Bay Area. I think more and more people are becoming accustomed to the idea of being responsible for cleaning up after their dogs. We travelled in Denmark and Germany last summer, and the idea has yet to be adopted there, and what a MESS. Walking on the street is like walking in landmines. Terrible. And in the hot weather, stinky. Why go through this. Why force other non-owners to endure this? It’s just irresponsible. Here in California, if folks are seen not to clean up after their dogs, while walking or in the parks, they are practically run out of town, ostracised, scorned publicly, rebuked by neighbors, friends and foe alike. It’s this peer pressure that makes it work. It creates a culture that encourages the good behaviour and discourages poor behaviour. It’s that simple. It wasn’t like this when I grew up, but it has become this way, through education and peer pressure. It’s lovely to walk in the parks and not step in the poo or smell it. It’s not that difficult to deal with, once you have the supplies at hand. And most owners bring it along. And the parks now all have containers and bags aplenty. Step up and take care of your dog’s poo. It’s the right thing to do, for everyone’s sake.

  9. dogs mess! ugggg! stinks and the smell stays with you all day! i reckon we should charge for dogs at the park gates; different entrance fees for different size dogs, the bigger the more expensive…. and uniformed security guards (not friendly rangers!) to enforce this. the money generated could pay for the upkeep of our green spaces. c’mon, use it… pay for it! its only fair!
    ps…. i have a dog and i pick up! (hate litter picking used condoms/tissues (ugh) and cigarette ends too!)

  10. You’re joking aren’t you Stainsbygirl, dog crap is much worse than normal rubbish as it is toxic! It’s easy enough for a ranger to fill a bag up with wrappers, cans and bottles without any real threats to health, but when you’re having to pick up other people dog mess day in day out it get’s more than tedious.

    I’d rather have children screaming because they are enjoying themselves rather than having children screaming because they have put their hand in a whippy!

    There’s only one thing worse than dog poo and that’s spiders. Believe.

  11. As usual the majority is tarnished with the same brush as the minority. As a dog owner for the past 8 years and a keen walker, I have not seen that many people doing what is described above.I am very much aware of the “bad” element of dog ownership but I think you will find that there are alot more caring and considerate dog owners. Quite honestly, I am sick of people winging on about it. Perhaps, we should spend more time on the greater problems of litter, screaming kids disturbing everyone and under less control than dogs, motorbikes churning up footpaths on the moors and so on and so on. I am a responsible dog owner as are my friends. He who has never sinned, cast the first stone

  12. DNA fingerprinting? How very high-tech! I’d love to know if it ever really happened. I’ll bet that’s a desirable job, though. Probably up there with those who sift the filters at sewage works for discarded jewellery etc. Mmm!

  13. We have this same issue in the United States. I don’t even own a dog, so I never want to deal with the stuff, especially on my shoes! I recall a proposal to use DNA tagging to identify the dog that left the poop and then ticket the owner. It was mentioned in the Gothamist . Seems like that would get to them.

  14. Yeah… hanging up the bags! Now what is that all about? Why bother clearing it up and then hanging it on a bush? I was saving that mystery for another rant but you beat me to it.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly, perhaps offering commision to the “poo wardens” would help. perhaps a fine for not carrying bags at all regrdless of if the dog has done anything or not. I’m a dog owner myself, thankfully a small dog, and it drives me up the wall to see dog owners walking round without even an empty bag let alone a full one. Forget road rage, i find my doggy poo rage much harder to control. And as for those that do pick it up and just hang the bag up….well don’t get me started.

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