Galway City Council says there's been a 60% drop in the volume of dog fouling detected, as a result of a trial campaign in five areas around the city.
The 'Clean it up you dirty pup!’ campaign was launched in June. Focusing on a number of areas where problems with dog dirt have been reported, it aims to raise awareness and encourage compliance with litter laws.
The Council’s Environmental Awareness Officer says one area witnessed a 75% reduction in the volume of dog poo being left on public thoroughfares.
Tiernan McCusker says there has been an overall reduction of 60% since the initiative began.
The figures were tallied by volunteers counting individual dog foulings on a weekly basis and reporting back to Galway City Council.
Despite the scale of the problem, the local authority issued no fines in relation to animal waste in 2019 or 2020. It says this highlights the difficulty in definitively identifying culprits.
The awareness campaign involves volunteers circling dog dirt with bright yellow spray paint, as well as footpath stencils and posters stating: "Clean it up you dirty pup!".
Dog owners who supply images of themselves cleaning up their pooch’s poo can enter a monthly draw for a €20 gift voucher. This reward scheme will run until the end of the year.
The effort to clean up the city streets and parks has also involved Community Wardens operating outside regular hours, in a bid to catch careless owners red handed.
Under the Litter pollution ACT 1997, dog owners are legally obliged to clean up after their pets, if they go to the toilet in public places.
On the spot fines of €150 can be issued to owners who don’t clean up their pets’ mess.
Non-payment of on initial fines can result in penalties of up to €3000 on conviction.