There was a surprise presentation to Kitimat Council on Monday, January 4th from Angie Brown.
“My Concern is regarding the amount of dog poop out in the public areas. I was just out for a walk the other day past a bylaw sign that clearly states that you must be picking up after your pets and to take it home. I past a dog waste bag holder full of bags, even had pictured instructions on how to do it,” said Brown.
She expressed there were posts on Facebook regarding people’s disgust and concerns with people not picking up their pets waste.
“I did post on January 1st and received 101 likes, 50 comments with 2-12 additional likes per comment. I saw posts like: ‘My dog is very small so I don’t need to pick up after him.’ ‘I walked my child to school and I counted 30 poops along the way.’ ‘I can’t take my kids to the park or school yards as there is poop everywhere.’ ‘I can’t take my dog out anywhere without him stepping in another dog pile and bringing it home.’,” said Brown.
She expressed the school yard was covered in poop and the kids did not have anywhere to play and parents are disgusted with it. Brown told Council this did not leave responsible dog owners with a good name and she is a responsible dog owner.
“When dog droppings are left in the yards, fields, parks and sidewalks, it eventually ends up in the rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. It is carried their by spring runoff, heavy rainfalls or directly via a storm sewer. 2-3 days’ worth of droppings from a 100 dogs pooping twice a day would have enough bacteria to close a bay, all watershed areas within 20 miles, close down beaches for swimming and shell fishing,” said Brown.
She told a gram of dog waste contains 23 million fecal bacteria. She explained dog poop was a serious pollutant which can cause life threatening problems in humans and dogs. Brown told Council all of this was making Kitimat look bad because she had seen plenty of comments on how Kitimat does not take care of its parks and school yards.
Brown suggested fining people who were not picking up after their pets and using the money to hire a poop scoop company to help cleans up their sidewalks and parks.
Finally, she painted the following picture for Council: A person who steps in dog poop, scrapes it off their foot, comes home, washes their shoes in the bathroom sink, forgets to clean the sink, and is now brushing their teeth with dog poop leading to illness.
“Thank you for your time and I hope something could come of this that we can clean up our little city, our little town,” said Brown.
Councillor Mary Murphy wanted to know more about the Poop Scoop Company. Brown explained people in other communities have come up with this business because people do not want to clean up their own dog poop in their yards. To get rid of the poop, they hire a company to come in, pick it up and dispose of it in a proper manner.
Councillor Rob Goffinet stated Council hears about this ‘distressingly often.’ He asked if Browns comments will be forwarded to the Animal Shelter and the bylaw people. CAO Warren Waycheshen expressed they were going to do an information campaign about dog poop and do some enforcement. He said they are aware of it but it is difficult to catch people with their dogs.
Councillor Larry Walker asked if a part of the Animal Shelter’s contract with the District of Kitimat is bylaw enforcement relating to dogs, cats and garbage. Waycheshen replied they look after animal control. They also look after the shelter with their own funding. They often check to see if people are putting out their garbage at night but they are mostly responsible for animal concerns. They do make the District aware of bylaw concerns.
Councillor Edwin Empinado asked if they were going to relay the information to School District about the poop in the school yards. He was informed they were going to relay the information.
This is not the first time the Council has been approached in regards to animal waste in public places. They were approached in June, 2011
, September 2009
and March 2009
. Click the year to read about it.