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Dogs Trust launches nationwide campaign ‘The Big Scoop’

Dogs Trust launches nationwide campaign ‘The Big Scoop’

Dogs Trust The Big Scoop Westmeath

Recent research reveals that 53% of people think that there is a big problem with dog fouling in their area

43% came across dog poop in their local children’s park

The charity aims to highlight that dog fouling is not a dog problem but a human one!

Today, Dogs Trust Ireland launches “The Big Scoop” dog fouling awareness campaign which aims to encourage dog owners to take responsibility and pick up after their dogs, thus reducing the amount of dog poop being left in public spaces. In an effort to encourage communities across the country to tackle the issue of dog fouling in their area, the charity will take part in Tidy Towns 2018, the 60th anniversary of this national competition, under the Special Award Category of the competition. The charity is eager to see communities demonstrate the most creative and sustainable way of dealing with the issue of dog fouling in their community.


As part of the nationwide campaign, the Education and Community team at Dogs Trust will distribute educational packs to participating primary schools across the country and deliver “The Big Scoop” workshops, in some of these schools, educating over 28,500 children about the importance of cleaning up after their dog.


This week Paul Cleary of Dogs Trust and his dog “Magic”  were in Mullingar Educate Together working with students to teach them to be your “best friend’s” friend by cleaning up after they foul as they can’t do it themselves!. “In conjunction with the school visits Westmeath County Council stencilled the footpath with reminders for dog walkers to clean up after their dog and prevent dog fouling. “The footpath adjacent to Mullingar Educate Together is part of the Slí na Slainte walking route in Mullingar and the stencils will be an ideal reminder to dog owners to pick up after their dog/s” stated Ruth Maxwell, Environmental Awareness Officer. It is planned that the stencils will be rolled out to other areas in the county in the coming weeks.


Cathaoireach John Shaw welcomed the Dog Trust Workshops to the County and stated “this is a very welcome initiative and both the workshops by Dogs Trust and the introduction of the Green Dog Walkers by the Council is a combined effort to tackling the problem.” He continued “the stencilling of the footpaths will be a timely reminder of our duties as dog owners and I encourage people to take the pledge and sign up to the Green Dog Walkers scheme and make a difference in their local area”.


Recent research carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for Dogs Trust revealed that 7 in 10 people claimed to have walked in dog poop on the street, 43% came across dog poop in their local children’s park, 24% rolled a buggy through dog poop, 20% rolled a bicycle through it and 10% rolled their wheelchair through it.


Not only is dog poop an unpleasant sight and smell, but it is unhygienic and can spread disease. It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria1, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans2. It can also contain nasty bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like roundworm, the larvae of which can cause loss of vision. The charity are urging the public to always pick up after their dog using a Poo Bag or a scooping device before disposing of it in any bin and then to wash their hands when they get home.


Fiona Gregan, Education Manager at Dogs Trust said:“It is vital that we teach the next generation of dog owners the importance of picking up after their dog. Dog fouling is a human problem, not a dog one and this is the foundation we use when teaching children. We will educate the children through a three tier approach towards dog fouling – ‘Law, Health Implications and the People it can affect’. We hope that by teaching these simple principles to children it will instil the importance of taking responsibility for their own dogs for years to come and will help make Ireland a better place to live for both humans and dogs.”

There are certain people in our community who are more at risk of coming into contact with dog poop and putting their health at risk, such as; wheelchair users, visually impaired people, babies and toddlers who love to explore the world with their hands, those who use buggies and prams, as well as people playing sports. Whether you own a dog or not, dog poop in public spaces affects everyone.


The charity is asking dog walkers to be kind to their community – dog poop can get on wheels, hands and feet. So please Bag It, Bin it!


Remember that cleaning up after your dog is the law and owners who don’t are guilty of an offence and can be fined if the poop is left behind!


Sarah Lynch, Campaigns Manager at Dogs Trust said:“As a part of our wider mission to make Ireland the best country in the world for dogs and their owners, it is important that we encourage people to take responsibility and pick up after their dog. Always bag it, bin it and remember any bag and any bin will do!” She continued “we are delighted to see that Westmeath County Council has introduced the Green Dog Walkers initiative to Westmeath as this supports our campaign and provides free resources to community groups to tackle the issue of dog fouling in a friendly and non-confrontational manner”.


Find us on Facebook or follow the conversation on twitter @DogsTrust_IE using the hashtag #BagItBinIt


To find out more about how you can support this campaign log onto www.dogstrust.ie/TheBigScoop

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 15/03/2018