March 13, 2015 - 8:07 AM
I am a responsible dog owner. I license them every year. I feed them every day. If they bark when they’re out in the yard, I bring them inside. I take them for walks. And yes, I clean it up if they do their business along the way.
With the warmer weather the abundance of dog poo uncovered in city parks as the snow melted has drawn attention. Members of the public and of city council suggested a user pay system should be in place to help deal with the piles of dog poo in our parks and to clean up the little doggie bags left on the sides of trails.
Yes, I am a dog owner, but no I would not be a user of that system. I clean up after my own dog. Why paint me with the same brush? Why make me pay because someone else is disobeying the law?
Keeping our parks clean is important, and up to every single person that uses the park. It’s not just dog poo you see when out enjoying one of our wonderful natural spaces, there are often cigarette butts and take-out cups littering the landscape. Yes, this man-made waste is often left in the middle of nature as well.
I realize faeces obviously adds a different level of disgusting to our parks, no one wants to step in that and in the spring it can really stink up a place, but it is more natural than much of the other garbage left behind.
Let me be clear, I don’t condone any of this. You shouldn’t litter and you shouldn’t let your dog litter either. Unfortunately it’s often left to those who actually have pride in our city to clean up after those who don’t respect nature, their city or their neighbours enough to clean up after themselves.
Many user groups have a mantra of “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints” and clean-up days are organized annually for different parks and trails in the city. It shouldn’t be up to these groups that already respect the space to have to clean up after the lazy, but unfortunately it is.
It’s become a community matter not because it should be, but because a group of people feel that cleaning up after their dogs is not their responsibility. Hate to break it to you all, but it is. If you didn’t feel like cleaning up dog poo, you shouldn’t have a dog.
And in case you were wondering, yes, even your little dog — the one you like to carry for half your walk — its little poo counts too. Clean it up.
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