Community response needed to deal with increase in dog fouling

Local SocDems Councillor for Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole and Newcastle Jodie Neary has said that dog fouling has visibly increased in the local area with an increase in pet ownership also visible during the recent lockdown. Cllr Neary says…

“People out on their walks will tell you there’s more definitely more dog waste on the paths and it’s something I’m seeing for myself. I’m getting emails, FB tags and texts about this from people in Greystones and Kilcoole looking for more doggie bins, bin collections and something to address the scourge. There’s particular anger over people putting dog waste into plastic bags and then dumping those bags into bushes.

“There are many factors for this increase including more people out walking being aware of their paths more, more people walking with their dogs but overall there has been an increase in dog ownership particularly after Christmas. National dog charities have noted that lockdown has brought an increase interest in pet ownership across the country with rehoming charities like Dogs Trust and the DSPCA quoting a huge rise in inquiries over the past few months. Less dogs are being returned after Christmas and people are working from home more. It’s certainly bringing positives for people dealing with isolation, loneliness and who are seeking more connection during the current lockdown. Dog ownership is not the problem, it’s dog responsibility.

“Council capacity to address this situation is limited due to a lack of resources and their belief that personal responsibility is required. While I agree, I believe it’s going to take a community wide response to address the need for people to bring their dog poo home.

“I recently spoke to a woman from Kilpedder whose daughter had a very novel idea using empty milk bottles taped to poles with compostable bags inside for dogwalkers to use. Neighbours routinely fill up the milk bottles with more bags when it’s empty. Residents in Kilpedder have told me there’s been a noticeable difference and I believe it’s down to this community wide response. I have requested the Council to support me in rolling out this project and am working with Greystones Tidy Towns who say the worst affected areas are in back walks and housing estates. We are working on how we can roll out this idea to those areas” Cllr Neary.

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