We are a dog-loving society.
But as much as people love their canine friends, they don’t necessarily like cleaning up after them.
We get it, picking up dog poop is disgusting.
What is more disgusting, though, is seeing it in the town’s streets, parks and trails.
Dog waste is a big problem for municipalities beyond it being left behind by owners who may not even realize the dangers, thinking it is natural, like that of all the wildlife that also pollute the town.
But dog waste is different from that of wild animals. It contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and very high levels of bacteria (such as E. coli), viruses, and parasites. It pollutes watersheds, poses health risks to humans and spreads diseases and parasites to other dogs.
It also presents other problems for municipalities such as overuse of landfills, contamination of recycling bins and large labour costs in parks.
Those, of course, are higher-level issues municipalities across the continent are struggling to address.
In the meantime, at the least, people should be picking up after their pets.
In fact, it is illegal not to. The first offence in a 12-month period is $50 escalating to $75 for a second and $100 for a third. A fourth will land you in court.
Beyond that, though, there really is no excuse.
Even if for some reason you forget or run out of bags, the Town provides them in numerous locations around town.
It’s not enough just to bag it, though. Stories abound of people tying the bags to trees or throwing them in the bush, creating even more work for Town staff or for more conscientious citizens.
Bag it and take it somewhere it can be disposed of properly, Smithers.