Dog mess: Is it really just a tiny minority of bad owners?

Pick it up!
Pick it up!

Well, the clocks have gone back, and as ever it’s nearly pitch black out there pretty much the minute you leave work, ensuring that it’s fairly unlikely that you’ll see any daylight until possibly the weekend.

I love this time of year, when you get to see the first frost forming outside giving the world that oddly nice white-ish hue, the early-morning ice crystals covering the street gives it a lovely festive look.

But with the nights ‘fair drawing in’ it’s inevitable that the darkness will bring another less appealing feature to the streets – the increase in dog mess.

It seems that each year, as it gets darker, some dog owners suddenly ‘forget’ to pick up after their pet when they realise that there’s less chance of being spotted in the dark.

I know, I know, this is the part when we normally make the obligatory qualifying remark of ‘it’s only a tiny minority who are being irresponsible’, but to be fair, that minority seems to grow by a fair bit when it gets dark.

And I’ve heard the excuse; ‘Sometimes when your dog runs off it’s harder to see what it is doing in the dark’. Well, I’d say that’s even worse. If you don’t know where your dog is, then it should be on a lead.

This week Fife Council said that the sharp decrease in fines handed out for dog fouling over the last five years was due to “campaigns which focus on dog fouling, highlighting the offence and increased patrols of hotspot areas” – it’s a roundabout way of saying that they believe there is less dog mess than there was in 2012.

READ MORE: Drop in fines for littering and dog mess due to fewer incidents, says council

Next time you stroll round your neighbourhood, cast your eyes downward.

Does it seem to you like the problem is getting better?