You can imagine my amazement, as a dog owner, and a conscientious one at that, to count 24 different piles of dog foul on the South Circular Road, between Fennessey’s pub and the Redemptorist church last Thursday 26/01/12. While 24 sounds like a large number it becomes even larger due to the fact that the 24 I counted were on one side of the road.
Yes I know that doesn’t mean there will be 24 on the opposite side, but if it’s on one side then there is no possible way it will not be on the other. I really don’t get it. Why do people in this day and age, with all of the information available still not clean up after their dogs. A quick search on Google and you find all the information you need on dog foul and why it needs to be cleaned up.
Dog foul can and often does contain a little bug called Toxocariasis. Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and epileptic fits. Often the eggs are ingested when passed to the mouth by the hands, but this can also occur through contact with dogs or other inanimate objects including the wheels of toys and the soles of shoes. Infected soil samples are often found in play areas and as a result, Toxocariasis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years.
Now we have to wonder, with this information so easily available why do people still not clean up after their dogs? A roll of dog foul bags can be picked up from a pet shop for as little as €1.99 and a roll of regular plastic bags from a supermarket for considerably less.
The main issue as I see it, is laziness. People seem to believe it is not their responsibility. Obviously this is not true. It is the responsibility of every dog owner to ensure they properly care for their dog. This includes cleaning up after them.
Sure the city council could do a little more, in the way of providing bins, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the dog owner and walker. Yes it is unpleasant to walk around in search of a bin with a bag of your dog’s foul. But it is even more unpleasant for the person who gets sick because of your laziness.
What can those who don’t own a dog do about this? Well it’s simple really, don’t stand for the dog fouling in you area. Be vocal about this. Limerick City Council have leaflets and posters available from the environment department, which are free of charge to take and distribute. Why should we, I’m sure I’ll hear you say, Well it’s simple. We can live with dog foul and run the risk of disease, or we can begin changing our own and others opinions on the matter. The only way we can beat this issue is to educate people on the issues relating to dog foul. Yes there are those who will not listen and for them there is the possibility of a €150 fine by calling 1 800 216 816 and reporting them.