I consider myself a responsible pet owner as my dogs are spayed, I keep them on a leash when walking them and I pick up after them. In addition, my home borders on some green space where dog owners bring their pets to play and frolic.
Ironically, I pick up about 15 to 20 pounds of dog excrement every year in this park, particularly near area that borders my property. I do not need a medal or to be given any credit for this action, however every time I see the community asking for more dog parks I can't help but wonder why.
I feel somewhat embarrassed when walking my pets simply because I could be perceived as one of those who fail to live up their obligations for cleaning up after their dogs. On Heritage Drive, it is evident that one dog owner uses the boulevard as his/her dog's personal toilet. Similarly, there are those dog owners who sneak out under cover of night knowing that if they don't see their dog defecate then they don't feel obliged to pick up after it. So many signs, so many offenders, yet so little action or enforcement. Perhaps we should have bylaw officers out on weekends or evenings to try and curb the immorality of dog owners. If the signs are correct there are both environmental and health hazards to the population, therefore a first offence should carry a minimum fine of $500 and a second offence doubled. If caught a third time the owners must enter some form of therapy and/or lose the rights to have a pet.
I think it is disgusting that such a simple task is beyond those dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pet. I can't help but wonder about their own personal hygiene, but I'm sure their yards are clean as they continue to let their pets litter the rest of the community.
D. Williams, St. Albert