Since everyone was stuck at home in 2020, the number of dogs in UK homes has soared. Some households had one or more pets already and added more furry friends, while others were first time canine carers.
While most people have a rough idea of what dogs need, and what they’ll need to provide, few first timers know in detail what they’re taking on.
First and foremost, the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and do their best to do the right thing by their pet, as well as respect their local community. One of the most noticeable things, though, is the huge increase in dog mess on pavements, footpaths and green spaces since the world opened up again.
Here at CFC, we’ve been working with local authorities to install more dog waste bins in more locations. There’s a particular focus on areas currently without bins that are prone to dog mess being left by irresponsible owners, and those areas where existing bins are full.
Let’s be clear, it doesn’t matter whether there are bins provided or not, dog owners still have a responsibility to clear up after their pets. Fines for dog fouling are dealt with via fixed penalty, usually £100 when caught on the spot. If owners need to be traced, for example via CCTV, courts can impose penalties of up to £1,000 per incident.
When challenged, owners often claim they didn’t realise that their pet had pooped at all, or they had forgotten to bring a bag so can’t clear it up. Fortunately for enforcement officers, neither of these excuses are considered valid according to Keep Britain Tidy, and will almost certainly result in an on the spot fixed penalty notice being issued.
The same goes for people complaining that it’s not their fault because the nearest poo bin is full. You have a clear and unambiguous responsibility to bag and dispose of the dog mess correctly – just because a bin is full doesn’t mean it’s not your job to sort it out. In fact, there’s not requirement for bins to be provided at all, in which case you must take it home.
If you’re reluctant to put bags of dog poop into your general waste bin, it’s easy to install a dog poo bin in your garden. That means you’ll just need to move the liner from the garden bin into the general waste bin when it’s time to put the wheelie bin out for collection – probably once a fortnight. We don’t do residential installations, but there’s a guide to garden dog poo bins here on rubbishsite.co.uk.
If you find yourself tempted to leave a pile of dog mess in the park, remember that children will be playing in that space sooner or later, and there are serious health risks posed by dog waste.
At the very least, if ingested it can cause nasty stomach upsets, but in some cases can even lead to irreversible blindness. Most risks are caused by the roundworm that are likely to be present in your pet’s dollops, so please do the right thing – bag it up and use a dog poop bin if one is provided, and if not, take it home with you.
Don’t be tempted to throw it into someone else’s bin if it’s collection day – that’s classed as fly tipping and carries even larger fines!