EDITORIAL Scoop the poop, even in the snow

Squamish has one of the highest relative dog populations in all of Canada and with that comes much enjoyment but also certain problems, including the annoying tendency for some owners to not pick up their dogs’ droppings.

As the snow begins to melt again, the poop problem is likely to become exasperated. 

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Why do some people think a pile of snow means it’s not necessary to clean up after their dog? 

The snow begins to disappear and the poo, once covered, is left on the ground for a passerby to step in. Gross. 

The District of Squamish spends $11,000 on poop bags annually to stock 60 bag dispensers in the community, but feces can still regularly be seen laying on the ground, even in the busiest areas of Squamish, including the downtown core. 

Failure to pick up after your pup is a violation of section 34 of the District of Squamish’s animal control bylaw, which states, “Where an animal… defecates on the highway, public place or lands of any person other than the owner of the animal, the person having care, custody or control of the animal shall immediately remove the excrement and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.”

The fine is $150. 

The bylaw is clear yet it keeps happening. Lucky people are able to dodge the poop laying on the ground but, unfortunately, others are left to scrape it off their shoes. 

The problem is it’s next to impossible for bylaw or animal control officers to catch a dog owner in the act – unless they are at the right place and the right time to witness it, according to the District of Squamish. 

So, in 2016, no tickets were issued. 

Instead, the District is focusing on educating dog owners on the bylaw and the environmental and health issues related to dog feces. This information is included in the annual dog licence renewal inserts that are mailed to every registered owner.

In May last year, the “doo diligence” campaign encouraged residents to clean up our trails, dikes and parks. A similar effort it planned for the spring. 

The majority of dog owners are doing their part to keep Squamish clean, but it only takes a few to make a mess of our community. Let’s all get onboard to scoop the poop, even in the snow. 

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@ Copyright Squamish Chief

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