Coun­cil work­ers pelted with­dog poo

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Think you’ve had a bad day at work? Try be­ing sprayed with dog poo as you go about your busi­ness.

Porirua City Coun­cil work­ers are walk­ing into a lit­eral poop­storm as they are blasted with dog dung left by own­ers re­fus­ing to pick up af­ter their pooches.

Ma­chine op­er­a­tor Donna Pe­whairangi said she was of­ten struck by fly­ing fae­ces flicked up by her mower.

De­spite her best ef­forts to dodge the de­posits, she had to stop work and head for the near­est shower af­ter be­ing hit by the drop­pings, she said.

Last week, the coun­cil re­leased a list of shame, nam­ing the worst places for dog drop­pings, and im­plored own­ers to think of the health risks posed to staff.

Con­tract and op­er­a­tions man­ager Ju­lian Emeny said even pro­tec­tive cloth­ing and masks couldn’t keep coun­cil staff safe.

‘‘It still pen­e­trates and gets on to the skin. The only way to solve the prob­lem is for it not to be there.’’

Own­ers needed to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­mem­ber peo­ple af­fected by the is­sue were their neigh­bours and friends, he said.

The city’s worst-hit ar­eas were the Whitby and Cam­borne Walk­way, Ngati Toa Do­main, and the Dolly Var­den and Plim­mer­ton Beach fore­shores.

Un­like the Kapiti Coast, Lower Hutt and Welling­ton coun­cils, Porirua City Coun­cil does not pro­vide bag dis­pensers, so that own­ers caught short can still pick up af­ter their dogs.

Porirua City Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the poo prob­lem got worse each year, as the num­ber of dogs in the city in­creased.

The city cur­rently had 4878 reg­is­tered dogs.

The coun­cil would look at op­tions, such as bag dis­pensers, in the new fi­nan­cial year.

The fine for not pick­ing up dog fae­ces was $300, but Dovey said the coun­cil pre­ferred to ‘‘ed­u­cate and en­cour­age own­ers to pick up af­ter their dogs’’.

Loose Leash Dog Walk­ing Ser­vice owner Penny Krieg vis­ited the Cam­borne Walk­way re­cently and was dis­gusted by the amount of dog fae­ces.

She and her staff scooped up about 100 bags of fae­ces, she said.

Porirua dog owner Nic O’Brien said she would like to see the coun­cil take the is­sue se­ri­ously, in­stead of only warn­ing own­ers.

‘‘I think poo bag sta­tions would be a start. They re­ally would have no ex­cuse that way.’’

Donna Pe­whairangi is sick of be­ing pelted with dog poo as she trims the city’s walk­ways.

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