Increasing amounts of dog poo in public areas is affecting primary school students and sports matches, according to a Bunbury principal and a sports coach.
Bunbury Primary School acting principal Franca Dillon said she had noticed an increase in the clean-up required on the school’s oval.
“It’s become more of an issue, I don’t know if it’s because there are more people with dogs,” she said.
“While we love people using the oval, it’s affecting kids because they are stepping and falling on it.
“It’s about owner responsibility because we’re trying to protect the kids.”
Poop N Scoop owner Brad Ladhams said sporting grounds including Hands Oval and Hay Park were problem areas.
“I had to clean up once last year before my young bloke played a game of junior footy at Hay Park,” he said.
Bunbury Primary School groundsman Keith Kavanagh, who also coaches rugby with the Hay Parkbased Bunbury Bulls, said dog poo was “probably the worst thing that can be on an oval”.
Bunbury Primary School groundsman Keith Kavanagh is sick of having to clean up after dogs on the school oval. Picture: Jon Gellweiler
“We have enough fertiliser on the lawn already, we don’t need any more,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“From a rugby perspective, you don’t want to see kids going through it.
“It’s such a simple thing to carry a plastic bag – it should be a badge of honour to show you’re a responsible dog owner.
“It’s more of an issue at Hay Park because that’s classed as a dog exercise area.”
The school’s latest weapon in the fi ght is quirky signage with a light-hearted message “speaking” to dogs, installed after principal Shane Doherty saw similar signs in Canada.
Bunbury has a number of formal dog exercise areas, with many sporting grounds permitting dog use in the evenings and early mornings.
Mr Ladhams said while he mainly did residential clean-ups, he was seeing a lot more dog poo in public areas.
“One of my services is doing dog walks and I see areas from Eaton to Dalyellup and Bunbury and everywhere you go there’s a fair bit there,” he said.
Mr Ladhams said he had spoken to Bunbury City Council staff previously but was told they did not have the budget to contract private clean-up services.
Council planning and development services director Bob Karaszkewych said the onus was on dog owners to pick up after their animals.
“The City of Bunbury provides bags where it is deemed necessary, however owners should carry their own bags with them at all times when taking their dogs to a park or public place to ensure all areas are free of faeces for all members of the public to use,” he said.
The fine for not cleaning up after your dog in Bunbury is $100.