Have you ever looked around for the source of an unpleasant odour and then realised that it’s you, who just stepped on dog poop?
“It was the worst way to start my day. Early in the morning I went out for a walk, I felt that I had stepped on a banana. Oh my god! I had been the victim of dog-poop assault. Canine faeces are very difficult to clean off from the bottom of shoes and it contributes to an undesirable walking environment too. This spoiled my entire day,” exclaimed Riyaz Khan from Jawahar Nagar.
Keralites have never been concerned about picking up after their pet dogs. They just leave it on the streets and sidewalks without a trace of guilt.
Experts say that pet waste is a significant cause of water body contamination in areas where there is a high population of dogs.
“Canine waste contains bacteria like faecal streptococcus and faecal coli forms. In sufficiently high amounts, these bacteria can make people sick. Escherichia coli bacteria often cause gastrointestinal infections, as well as infections to the ear, eye, and throat. Another bacterium, campylobacter, can cause diarrhoea in humans,” said Dr. Pavitra Dayankar.
No law has ever been passed in India to prevent pet dogs defecating wherever their masters please.
“Most of the houses in our city have at least one dog and everyone takes their four legged friends out to ‘do their business’. But they do not think it’s their responsibility to dispose of their pets’ solid wastes. Most countries have laws against pet animals defecating on sidewalks, floors, stairways and roofs of public places. If it happens, the owner must immediately clean up after his pet or else he is subject to a reprimand and fine. This should be implemented here too,” said Janani from PT Chacko Nagar.
According to pedestrians, the pet owner should be held responsible for cleaning up after their dogs, instead of leaving it there and creating nuisance for others.
“Since we are living in a city that does not offer municipal dog-faeces disposal services, it is common decency that you pick up after your animal. Although it may not be a pleasant thing to do, properly managing your pet's waste contributes to a healthier and cleaner community. The quickest, easiest way to get rid of a dog's poop is to put it in a plastic bag and either drop the bag in a trash can or flush the bag's contents down a toilet,” said Dr. Pavitra.
As the whole city is cribbing about waste dumping, disposing and management issues, disposal of the solid waste of your canine companion might seem irrelevant. But in order to live in a society that we dream about, we all have to do our part.