Dog fouling around Galway city in decline

A ‘quirky’ campaign to reduce dog fouling by spraying yellow paint around droppings has resulted in a massive 75 per cent drop  in some areas.

Last year, Galway City Council launched the ‘Clean it up you dirty pup’ campaign to promote responsible dog ownership. This campaign was set to raise awareness for dog owners to clean up after their dog’s fouling.

Environmental Awareness Officer at Galway City Council, Mr Tiarnan McCusker, said that the initiative gained national importance last year and that engaging with communities was key.

“There has always been complaints from members of the public to the Galway City Council regarding dog fouling all over the city. So we wanted to try something different. With a good, novel and new approach, whereby we can actually get the citizens of the city to take some direct action with it as well,” he said.

Mr McCusker said that they engaged with volunteers of Resident Associations and Tidy Towns groups to hang posters, and to use chalk and yellow spray paint to evaluate the amount of dog fouling.  

“We get the volunteers to spray circles around individual dog fouling. They do it on the first Friday of the month and on the following Friday. So in the space of that week, because they have sprayed all the dog fouling in a specific area. Whenever they do it the following week, you can see the increase or the amount of dog fouling in that one specific week and area. And then from that, they have a base science over. So that is how we were able to ascertain that there was a 60 per cent of reduction in trial areas,” he said. 

Mr McCusker said that there are mutt nets, bags for the public use, around the city, but that dog owners should get into the habit of bringing their own bag with them when walking their dog.

“We would certainly encourage that. With any bag, at any place and time. And just that they have to be prepared,” he said.

Mr McCusker said that they are “very hopeful” that the decrease in dog fouling will be maintained this year.

“We look forward to working with more community groups over the coming months,” he said.

For more information on how to participate in this campaign, you can email environment@galwaycity.ie.

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