It’s a problem which has been under the community’s nose for years: dog poop.
Spurred to speak up on the matter following heavy discussion on the matter through social media, Kitimatian Angie Brown asked Kitimat Council to act to curb the ongoing issue of pet owners not cleaning up after their dog has done their business.
Brown recalls wandering passed a poop bag dispenser near a community park, which appeared to do little in encouraging people to pick up in the surrounding area.
“The box of bags I passed was right beside a school and I saw poop everywhere,” she said. “It’s not leaving a very good name for responsible dog owners.”
Not only a visual eyesore but not collecting dog waste proves a health hazard too, she said.
She said droppings left behind ultimately end up in waterways and lakes, and contain enough bacteria to cause serious consequences.
She said that if issuing fines is a possible solution she hopes the money raised could be used to hire a company to provide clean up services in community parks.
A cursory Internet search reveals a number of companies that specialize in disposing of pet waste in B.C. and Alberta. One Calgary company is specifically geared to clear out private yards, while the others were mainly to properly dispose of waste in areas where bylaws prohibit dog waste joining regular household garbage.
Chief Administrative Officer Warren Waycheshen said the town has been made aware of community concern on this issue, most recently due to the social media postings Brown referred to.
From that the town is looking at a plan to create a public information campaign to promote proper pet care for pet owners.
As well the town will look at stronger enforcement of the town bylaws when it comes to cleaning up after pets.
“We are aware of it,” said Waycheshen, adding that they can “Hit ‘em where it hurts in the pocketbook.”
Community bylaws specifically call out pet owners to immediately clean up any dog waste. Failing to do so can result in a $50 fine. Penalties can be given by the animal control office, the RCMP, the town’s designated bylaw officer, the municipal clerk and the fire chiefs.