Two concerned dog owners, in last week’s letters, expressed their outrage about the number of people who are failing to ‘scoop the poop’ of their dogs in public venues around Sooke. The amount of dog feces deposited, especially along our wonderful trails, is becoming intolerable, unsightly and dangerous.
As a member of a Sooke walking group, we are very aware of the problem, e.g. along the iconic Whiffin Spit, parts of the Galloping Goose trail and even small Ella Beach. Nowhere seems to escape the behaviour of a number of dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets. Then the same people wonder why others may become hostile to them and dogs.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the sculpture competition was held at Wiffin Spit in conjunction with the annual fall fair. For participants the collecting of materials on the beach for the sculptures was made more difficult and unpleasant as the sculptors tried to circumvent the pools of dog poo. Visitors from Orlando, Florida, after coming to dine at one of Sooke’s fine restaurants, decided to have a stroll to view the sculptures and scenery along the path strewn with dog feces, some in the free brown bags (supplied free by the municipality). What a memory to take away how Sooke residents care for their environment and other people.
The municipality has posted notices to remind dog owners of their responsibilities, and even provided waste disposal facilities in heavily frequented places. Where notices or provision are not offered, this should not be used as an excuse to fail to collect one’s dog’s feces.
If there continues to be a wanton disregard by some dog owners to clean up after their pets, the only course the municipality will have is to ban all people walking with dogs on trails and public places. As a previous dog owner, this loss of enjoyment and exercise by humans and their pets is indeed a high price to pay for the irresponsibility of some very selfish dog owners who fail to ‘scoop the poop’ of their pets.