The Gloucestershire Gazette on Friday said dozens of its readers had complained about local “poo hotspots” getting worse during the national lockdown, possibly due to the dramatic rise in UK dog ownership over the past year.
“Never understood why someone would go to the trouble of bagging their dog mess and then not just dispose of it properly and hang it off a tree or something ... subhuman scum!” one reader said.
In Essex, locals in the village of Tiptree raged at the “absolutely disgusting” sight of “hanging poos” on tree branches. “I was appalled by the sheer quantity of discarded dog poo bags,” dog walker Lynn White told Essex’s Daily Gazette.
“People need to understand that dog poo is toxic in these quantities, not to mention hazardous. It's absolutely disgusting.”Over the summer, the Kennel Club reported a 180 per cent increase in enquiries from potential dog owners, while the RSPCA said it had seen a sixfold rise in visits to its puppy fostering pages.
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Prices for pooches has also soared to reflect the sky-high demand for animal companionship during the pandemic.“Our dogs are certainly helping us through the pandemic, providing a welcome and happy distraction as Covid-19 causes anxiety, suffering and disruption across the nation,” said Bill Lambert , head of health and welfare at the Kennel Club.
What you need to know about the coronavirus variantsBut the rise in dog ownership appears inevitably to be leading to a rise in dog mess, which in Blackpool has become so bad the council has set up “dog poo patrols” to fine owners who fail to pick up their mutt’s mess £100.
“It's very bad, the street we live on, there's mess every metre. It's usually outside my house, several times a week too,” one local told Lancashire Live.
“My youngest son is disabled and going for exercise is essential to keep him active and healthy, but it's like a minefield that sometimes we have resorted to walking on the road.”In the southwest, Devon Live reported locals were planning a “poo protest” at Dartmoor’s Burrator Reservoir due to the “plague” of poo bags appearing around the lake and hanging from people’s fences.