Dogs Trust

The Big Scoop

Today, we launched our annual dog fouling awareness campaign, ‘The Big Scoop’ to encourage more people to be kind to their community and pick up after their dog. Dog fouling is a human problem not a dog one. We want to encourage responsible dog ownership in order to reduce the amount of dog poo being left in public spaces. Although dog fouling is no laughing matter, we have created a humorous video in the hope that it will be shared across social media, helping to spread their message that picking up after your dog is not a big deal!

Recent research carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes, which we commissioned, revealed that 93% of dog owners claimed they do pick up after their dog. Yet 52% of people surveyed indicated that there is a big problem with dog fouling in their area. 8 in 10 people claimed to have walked in dog poo on the street, 46% came across dog poo in their local children’s park, 27% rolled a buggy through dog poo, 30% rolled a bicycle through it and 9% rolled their wheelchair through it.

It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. Dog poo can also contain nasty bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like round worm, the larvae of which can cause loss of vision. The charity is 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.

Sarah Lynch, Campaigns Manager at Dogs Trust said: “There are certain people in our community who are more at risk of coming into contact with dog poo and putting their health in jeopardy, 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 waste in public spaces affects everyone. We need to dispel the stigma around dog fouling and educate the public on the importance of taking responsibility for their own dogs so Irish communities can live harmoniously with our four-legged friends.”

As part of our nationwide campaign, our Education and Community team will visit schools in different areas across Ireland, who signed up for free ‘The Big Scoop’ workshops educating children about the importance of cleaning up after their dog. This year, education packs will be freely available for schools and community groups to download online. Both the packs and workshops will educate children about Dogs Trust and our 3-tier approach – The Law, Health and people it affects when people don’t scoop the poop. In addition, each school or group that downloads a pack and that takes part in a workshop will be invited to take part in ‘The Big Scoop’ national poster competition to highlight the importance of this issue. There are many prizes to be won and the overall poster winner will help represent the promotion of next year’s campaign.

Fiona Gregan, Education Manager at Dogs Trust said: “It’s so important that we lead by example and teach our children that picking up after your dog goes hand in hand with responsible dog ownership. Not only does it affect the whole community and have serious health implications, but it is also against the law to not pick up your dog’s poo in a public place. Owners who don’t are guilty of an offence and can be fined if the poo is left behind! Children will be encouraged to remind family and friends, not strangers, about their responsibility to pick up their dog’s waste, but will not be encouraged to do it themselves - this is an important job for adults. We hope that our ‘The Big Scoop’ packs and the poster competition will make learning fun, and inspire the next generation to become model dog owners of the future.”

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 poo is left behind!

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