Dog fouling down by 72pc thanks to audio device

An audio device that plays a recorded message to remind passers-by to clean up after their dogs, has succeeded in reducing dog fouling by 72 per cent in one area of Athlone.

The dog fouling awareness device was installed on Athlone’s Shannon Walk (opposite the barracks ) - a popular dog walking area - for a trial period of two months, during which time dog fouling fell by 72 per cent.

The area is popular with dog walkers, with a ‘paw-fall analysis’ carried out in March identifying 1,554 walkers and 357 dogs over a one-week period. This indicates that approximately 23 per cent of walkers in the area at that time were dog-owners. Peak dog walking time was from 8-10am.

A similar scheme at Slí na Sláinte in Mullingar resulted in a 62 per cent reduction in dog fouling.

Aidan McDermott of Rite View Solutions, the company who supply the device, presented a report to councillors at the Environment SPC meeting on Monday (May 30 ).

The devices, which can be programmed with a customised message, have been rolled out across 22 local authorities in recent years, with the aim of changing culture so that failing to carry a bag and clean up after your dog is socially unacceptable. They will be moved around to different locations in order to reinforce the message across the county.

Mr McDermott pointed out that the dog walking patterns observed in each area can also be used to enable dog wardens to be present at peak times.

The devices can also be used at recycling bring banks and to reduce illegal dumping in targeted areas.

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