Moate community groups are coming together to tackle the problem of dog fouling that is destroying the streets of the town.
Dún na Sí Heritage & Amenity Park, Moate Tidy Towns, and Moate Action Group are dealing with the effects of irresponsible dog owners on a daily basis and are working tirelessly to stop the problem. These groups are being supported by Moate Men’s Shed, St Brigid’s Girls NS, St Oliver Plunkett Boys NS, Moate Community School, and the service users of St Hilda’s, Athlone.
Their new initiative, in co-operation with Westmeath County Council, is to erect three dog fouling bag dispensers so that dog walkers will have easy access to a bag to clean up after their dog.
The ‘Green Dog Walkers’ initiative is a non-confrontational way to change attitudes about dog fouling. People are asked to “Take the Pledge” to always clean up after their dogs, carry extra doggie bags and gladly give a bag to anyone that needs one. In return for taking the pledge, the person is given a Green Dog Walker’s hi-vis vest or Green Dog Walker’s dog collar attachment that holds a roll of fouling bags. The hi-vis vest or dog collar attachment make the person easily recognisable as a Green Dog Walker and this in turn spreads the message to more in the community.
Jimmy Redmond, Moate Tidy Towns, said: “We have adopted the Green Dog Walkers [initiative] as we work hard to keep our town a warm, welcoming, and clean place that is ready to be used by residents, businesses, and tourists alike. We have a lot of dog walkers in and around the town and many visitors, and all are very welcome, but we want them to be aware of the effects of dog fouling on our streets and the simple solution needed to eradicate it.”
The Moate groups are working with Ruth Maxwell, environmental awareness officer with Westmeath County Council, who has arranged for the provision of the dog fouling bag dispensers from the company Muttmitts Ireland.