Cathaoirleach Ken Glynn visited Rochfortbridge to support the local community and Tidy Towns group who have joined forces to introduce the Green Dog Walkers initiative as a way of tackling the dreaded dog poo issue.
Cathaoirleach Glynn congratulated the groups for their work in ensuring that they make Rochfortbridge a welcoming place for locals, visitors and those wanting to do business in the town. In this regard he stated "nobody can underestimate the negative effect dog fouling has on an area and the impression it leaves and this initiative will help to make a difference with the support of the community. Everyone including walkers, buggy walkers, runners, to wheelchair users all agree that it is a problem but one that can be easily resolved with the behavioural change of the dog’s owner. People who walk their dogs in public areas have the power to eradicate this problem overnight and I’d encourage them to support their community in this initiative which will improve the town for everyone who lives or visits it."
The Green Dog Walkers (GDW) is a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. The scheme consists of dog owners "pledging" to clean up after their dog, wearing a GDW hi vis vest / carry the GDW bag dispenser when walking their dog, carry extra dog waste bags and be happy to be approached to ‘lend’ a dog waste bag to those without and to be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dog/s.
The philosophy of this campaign is to start shifting public attitudes so that it becomes socially unacceptable not to clean up after your dog. With this change in attitude it is hoped for a general acceptance that dog owners must clean up after their dog fouls and therefore reduce the amount of litter in public areas.
To bolster the campaign dog fouling bag dispensers have been placed in the village so that dog walkers who need a bag or forget a bag won’t be left short if the need arises to clean up after their dog.
Cathy Whelehan of Rochfortbridge Tidy Towns stated "we have undertaken the Green Dog Walkers initiative as dog fouling is a problem here in Rochfortbridge. Since the launch of the initiative we have had a huge positive response to the Green Dog Walkers initiative. We are still trying to get pledge forms out to dog walkers but those who we have approached are interested in taking part and getting involved."
Ruth Maxwell, Environment Department, stated "the secret to a successful Green Dog Walkers campaign is the volunteer groups who actively promote the initiative in their area and in this regard a "Toolkit" is available to those groups/resident associations and Tidy Towns groups who want to roll out the initiative in their community.
These toolkits are available from the Environment Department and anyone wishing to take part can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 044 933 2125.
The "Toolkit" consists of pledge forms, guide booklet, signs for the estate/area, GDW hi vis vests/GDW dog collar attachment (holds bags), colouring sheets for children."
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 12/03/2021