The Salmon Arm Wharf is one of the areas in Salmon Arm where some dog owners have a tendency to not pick up their dog’s poop. (Carli Berry/Black Press)

Dog poop piling up on public paths and trails

Shuswap/Okanagan dog owners reminded of the health and environmental hazards of letting poop lie

Dogs are pooping freely in several Salmon Arm parks, with some owners leaving it at that.

“I get complaints, and the number of complaints have gone way up on the wharf, Little Mountain, Blackburn and Klahani – way up from last year,” says Jason Chernoff, Salmon Arm’s supervisor of parks, referring to dog feces on the ground.

The dog park in Klahani is better than it was, but the problems there are beyond its fences, on the ball diamonds and elsewhere, he says.

Even when the doggy bags the city provides at the entrance to parks are used, sometimes the full bags are chucked into the forest, left on the trails and, strangely, even tied up in trees.

Related: Peeved about poop

To reinforce the need for pet owners to clean up after their dogs, the city has increased its fees to match those of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. The fine for ‘failure to remove excrement’ has jumped from $25 to $100.

While dog poop can be stinky and yucky to step in, it’s also a potential hazard to health and the environment, says Mary Bermudez, someone who is very familiar with the subject.

Bermudez owns Poo Worx in Kelowna, which provides clean-up services to the City of Kelowna and outlying communities, including to individual dog owners.

As a former project manager in land development in Saskatchewan, Bermudez returned to Kelowna and decided to move in a new direction – becoming an “entrepooneur,” she jokes.

As a dog lover she was concerned about the diseases that dog feces can spread to dogs as well as humans. The Canadian Public Health Association lists nine human diseases that can be transmitted by dog poop, including E. Coli and Giardia.

Related: Salmon Arm consuming dog poop bags by the thousands

Before the snow arrived last year, Poo Worx went to the parks generating the most complaints for the City of Kelowna. At Paul’s Tomb Trail in Knox Mountain Park, for instance, three of her scoopers and a vehicle picked up seven or eight five-liter buckets of dog waste.

Bermudez would like to launch an educational campaign reminding people that dog poop can be toxic. “That feces you leave might make another dog sick.”

Not only that, it can harm the environment. It can ultimately end up in streams and ponds and, once there, can help create algae because of its thirst for oxygen.

“That’s what really, really was the driver for me. If people knew the damage dog waste does, they’d think twice about just leaving it there.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Okanagan and Connector

Storms expected to develop this morning and intensify early in the afternoon

Update on South Okanagan-Similkameen national park reserve announced Tuesday

Environment and Climate Change minister Catherine McKenna will join others in Osoyoos

Police continue to investigate fatal highway crash

Accident between Summerland and Penticton on Tuesday resulted in death of motorcycle rider

Confusion over land ownership of property along Okanagan River Channel

There appears to be some confusion about ownership of two of the properties Coyote Cruises uses

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

VIDEO: Weekday weather update for the Okanagan Valley

Thunderstorms aren’t expected to let up yet

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Okanagan Indian Band hosts red dress event today

See Me, Hear Me, Remember Me honours missing and murdered indigenous women

Couple finds opportunities in Shusawp with technology and pastries

Shuswap Immigrant Service Society welcomes Hillary Paganessi and Simone Bardella

98-year-old French spy to recount Second World War story in Okanagan

Marthe Cohn comes to Kelowna to tell her story July 16

Letter: Proposed increase to lease the drop-off point

Proposed increase to lease of Coyote Cruises channel float is the drop-off point

Column: The pageantry of graduation

Kevin Styba-Nelson is a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School

Most Read