17 September 2021

A stinky problem creating anger in Canberra's suburbs

| Tim Gavel
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Bag of dog poo on step

Is there anything more inconsiderate and disgusting than dog owners leaving bags of their canine’s poo on the ground for others to pick up? Photo: Tim Gavel.

There’s plenty to be frustrated about during the COVID-19 lockdown in Canberra. A scan of social media tells you as much.

Vaccinations, home schooling, business closures, not being able to see family and friends across the border, no organised sport, no golf, people not wearing masks, people getting too close – it’s all getting too much for many people.

Some have taken it a step further by reporting kids playing on trampolines without masks during the lockdown.

Sport has provided something of an escape, with the Olympics and Paralympics to watch on television.

But Canberrans have had plenty of time to take to social media to voice concerns about the Raiders failure to make the finals, and the Wallabies have had plenty of attention as they continue to come a distant second to the All Blacks.

But in Canberra suburbia, there is an issue creating significant angst which has the potential to trump much of the above.

It would appear little at the moment creates as much anger as the sight of small bags of dog poo left on the footpath, at the entrance to mountains, or on grassed areas along footpaths.

They are easily identifiable, usually green, blue or black in colour.

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If nothing else, it’s an eyesore. But it’s also incredibly inconsiderate and disgusting. It’s almost as if there is an expectation of a government-run collection service throughout the city and reserves, in a similar manner to the collection of green and yellow lidded rubbish bins.

This morning I came across a man confronting anybody with a dog along his street demanding to know if they were responsible for leaving a green bag full of dog poo on his front lawn.

Mount Ainslie’s walking tracks are humming with people and their dogs, which is to be expected as it’s a great way to exercise during lockdown. Most people are conscious of others and leave no trace they have been there, while some others feel it’s OK to drop their bag of dog poo rather than carry it back and place it in the general waste bin.

Judging by social media, this behaviour is not confined to the inner north and it appears to have become a growing problem across Canberra with greater pet ownership during COVID-19.

It’s not confined to Canberra, either.

On the NSW South Coast during the summer influx of visitors with their four-legged companions, it has become a constant source of anger.

Many locals blame visitors, although it appears there is little reduction in the problem when holidaymakers head home.

I’ll admit this is not one of the most significant issues in the world – not by a long stretch – but it simply adds another layer to the angst being experienced by many people during the COVID-19 lockdown in Canberra.

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Unbelievable people trying to use whataboutism with herbivore poop/droppings. Not even close to the same thing.

I am a regular dog walker and can’t understand why anyone would put their dog’s ? into a bag and then leave it to ‘cook’ in the sun ? If you are NOT going to take it with you, just leave it to decompose naturally. I always bag my dog’s ? even though they are very small, as I would not like anyone to step in it. I leave the bag in an obvious spot to collect on my return trip. Where I walk is a very popular ‘off lead’ area but there are no bins for disposal of dog bags

I hate it when people let their dogs crap on my front yard. I saw a crap out there the other day that may have come from a St Bernard!

What about inconsiderate polluting humans dropping their face masks on walking trails, ovals and along the lake. I don’t want to see your discarded snotty face mask on my walks or have to pick it up.

Kangaroos too? Who picks up after them? Nobody complains about all the roo poo. There are many in the suburbs and along nearby bush walking trails. Dog and roo poo may be getting mixed up and dogs and dod walkers unfairly blamed.

Capital Retro11:02 am 11 Sep 21

Roo poo doesn’t stink like dog poo and it doesn’t stick to the treaded soles in your cross-trainers. It’s totally sustainable.

Dog poo is toxic to grass and plants, whereas kangaroo poo can make a good fertilizer.

Jennifer Andrew1:27 pm 11 Sep 21

Kangaroos are herbivores.

And roos poo nuggets not logs. Very easy to distinguish between them.

If you can’t tell the difference between dog poo and roo poo, then I don’t think anyone can help you!

Undoubtably some people cannot tell the difference between dog and roo poo and get alarmed when they see it on ovals where there are both dogs and roos. Also some people, including those from dog averse cultural backgrounds, just dont like dogs anywhere near them and use any excuse to complain about them.

I think if its in a bag we know its not roo poo!
After all who would put roo poo in a bag?

I have never seen any left green bags but the people that live in my suburb must love dog sh-t baking in the sun. It’s everywhere along our paths, people are lazy and antisocial. On my walk today I watched a woman pick up after her dog by getting a stick and flicking it at a fence, a School fence. really people.

Finagen_Freeman6:24 pm 10 Sep 21

Simple reason. Some parks have bins, some don’t. Some parks have special poo bins, some don’t.

Parks should be treated in a consistent manner.

All parks should have bins. No sh!t.

Yeah, this is a growing problem that me and my wife have noticed of late going on walks.
The comments about dropping it and coming back to pick it up later almost never happens.
Some of these owners must not realise that they are seen doing this and the evidence is where there is one, there are usually multiple bags of dog poo left over a period of days or weeks. It is beyond comprehension.
It would be better, if the didn’t bag it at all if they were going to be that inconsiderate.
Where are the rangers that dutifully manage to find people out of their jurisdiction under COVID. They could do this at the same time,

Why did dog faeces need to be picked up? Isn’t it just fertiliser for the plants? What about the bird poo, possum scat all over my backyard. Can I bill the council for that?

Michael Bertram6:11 pm 10 Sep 21

Hi Sam. Two issues here. One, as someone who seems to have shoes that attract dog poo, I hate seeing it lying around. You sometimes see it on sporting grounds where people are going to be running around. Not much fertilising to be done on concrete footpaths either. Two, when it’s bagged up and then left, it’s not going to decompose naturally. Now it’s also plastic pollution.

It depends on what the creature the poo came from eats. If the creature eats meat then the general rule is that there poo will be bad for the environment. In this case since dogs eat meat their poo will kill the grass and any surrounding plants.

There’s also a health risk associated with it too. And what normal person wants to go and play sports and get caked in dog crap?

Lafh, surely that isn’t the rule. Chickens can eat meat and are omnivores yet their poo is considered good for the garden. Birds such as owls eat small mammals and most others eat insects. I’ve seen pigeons devour leftover Kinsleys chicken.

When are horse owners going to have to start doing there part? Picking up their animals droppings in residential areas like Kaleen might go a long way towards making said horse riders more considerate to pedestrians and bike riders.

Nick Michell6:08 pm 10 Sep 21

Oddly, I don’t find horse poo as offensive as dog poo. I remember my grandmother running out with a shovel to “tidy up” after the horse-drawn milk delivery cart had passed by. Nin’s rose’s were the envy of the naybourhood. 😉

rama sigonggong1:22 pm 10 Sep 21

I totally hate it when people don’t pick up after their dogs. I think we need more waste bins installed. As for in Mt. Ainslie, there are no bins around except at the very top and the start of the walk. If the council can put bins along the walk paths, I’m sure there will be less litter around.

I am a very frequent walker and I am not going to dispute that some terrible dog owners do indeed abandon bags of dog poop.

But what I see much more of is people who do an “out and back” type walk put the dog poop in a bag, leave the bag beside the path and then pick it up on their way back.

I’m not saying that is a great thing to do, but seeing a small bag of dog poop beside the path does not necessarily mean it will be there an hour later.

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