Northamptonshire's dog-owners have jumped at the chance of "walkies" to some fresh air during lockdown — but it has come at a stinking, germ-ridden cost..
A rubbish collection company estimates that dog poop litter is up a whopping 200 PER CENT, a clear sign not all dog owners are cleaning up after their pups.
Divert.co.uk, who provide dog poop litter removal for councils and private landowners, are alarmed by this increase and the implications for public health.
Spokesman Mark Hall said: “It is disgusting to see that some dog owners are failing to pick up after their pets, when it’s an offence and the waste can lead to serious illnesses.
“Walking your dog is important for both pet and owner for exercise, especially while we are all house-bound during the lockdown.
“Unfortunately, thanks to the thoughtless behaviour by a few individuals, dog owners are once again getting a bad reputation due to a massive increase in dog mess on the streets.”
With Lockdown 3 in full swing, current England guidelines allow people to walk their dog alone or with their households or support bubbles, or while exercising with one person from another household.
But divert.co.uk believe fewer people being out and about means irresponsible owners believe they can get away with leaving their dog's poop behind.
Not only is that unsightly, it could also be hazardous for you and your family’s health.
In extreme circumstances, contact with dog poo can cause toxocariasis, an infection which can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma, and in worse case scenarios, blindness, or seizures.
And even more unfortunately, it’s often children who are the poor victims of falling into dog poo and putting themselves at risk of catching a nasty infection.
Waste campaigners Keep Britain Tidy, who have run high profile campaigns such as the ‘dog poo fairy’, have found that nine out of ten owners do clean up after their dog.
But the other ten per cent risk Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £100, which could go up to £1,000 if the issue goes to court.
Mr Hall added: “There really is no excuse for this behaviour, especially as the waste can be put into any public bin.
“It’s lockdown laziness — especially those who do bag the mess, then don’t bin the bag."