When you welcome a dog into your family, you also welcome love, loyalty, and lots of poop into your life. Hey, we all know cuddles on the couch and backyard games of fetch are far more fun than being their own personal pooper scooper. But if we want lifelong loyalty and unconditional love, this is one of the prices we’ve got to pay.
Since there’s no such thing as the poop fairy, your dog’s poop is your responsibility.
AP Hovasse, a photographer who enjoys treading nature trails and capturing wildlife, is calling attention to this very issue. He explains that while hiking, he often sees doggie doo that has been picked up, bagged in plastic, then carelessly strewn across the ground. Growing increasingly disgusted after seeing it repeatedly in multiple parks, he decided to “call foul play” and literally flag the offenses.
So far, he has constructed five little flags. Each one of them is made out of a wooden pole, a piece of paper, and scotch tape. The flag says, “REALLY? WTF DOGWALKERS! Don’t be a jerk, take your s**t to the garbage can located nearby.”
“I thought, I’m going to have these for weeks… I go to Boundary Bay, I park my car, and there’s like three garbage cans there and one of them is for dog poop. I walk 20 metres (66 feet) past there and there’s three bags,” he said.
He stuck one of the small flags into each of the improperly discarded poops and posted pictures of them on social media. Though he had hoped to inspire a conversation and start a movement of his own, the responses haven’t been entirely positive. Some people say he is simply adding to the issue and creating even more litter, while others are asking for a printable version of his flag design.
“I’ve got a lot of response, not all of it supportive,” he says. “People are nitpicking at me and they’re welcome to but it’s not going to stop me,”
Improper pet poop disposal is more than just a mood killer and eyesore. It is also an environmental pollutant and health hazard. While the bulk of our pet’s waste will eventually break down and decompose, the bacteria, parasites, and pathogens that lurk within will not. So if a human or an animal comes in contact with or ingests any part of your pet’s poop, they are put at risk for illness or disease.
Plus, the leftover poop particles will inevitably wash into and pollute our local waterways. Never mind that they are wrapped in plastic, something that we all know is detrimental to the environment when left as litter. This is why proper poop disposal is such an important responsibility of being a pet parent.
Hovasse says that one of the most frustrating aspects of this issue is that there is usually a garbage can located within a close distance of where the bags are being tossed, frequently even within view.
“Something needs to be done to bring this up in the consciousness of dog walkers,” he says. “I think it’s a good way to get people talking.”
With inviting great love into your life comes great responsibility.
Featured Image: @wtfdogwalkers/Instagram