Dogs Trust Launches Nationwide Campaign ‘The Big Scoop’

Dogs Trust Ireland launched “The Big Scoop” dog fouling awareness campaign which aims to encourage dog owners to take responsibility and pick up after their dogs, thus reducing the amount of dog poo being left in public spaces. In an effort to encourage communities across the country to tackle the issue of dog fouling in their area, the charity will take part in Tidy Towns 2018, the 60th anniversary of this national competition, under the Special Award Category of the competition. The charity is eager to see communities demonstrate the most creative and sustainable way of dealing with the issue of dog fouling in their community.
Dogs Trust Launches Nationwide Campaign 'The Big Scoop'

Dogs Trust launches nationwide campaign ‘The Big Scoop’

As part of the nationwide campaign, the Education and Community team at Dogs Trust will distribute educational packs to participating primary schools across the country and deliver “The Big Scoop” workshops, in some of these schools, educating over 28,500 children about the importance of cleaning up after their dog.

Recent research carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for Dogs Trust revealed that 7 in 10 people claimed to have walked in dog poo on the street, 43% came across dog waste in their local children’s park, 24% rolled a buggy through dog poo, 20% rolled a bicycle through it and 10% rolled their wheelchair through it.

Not only is dog poo an unpleasant sight and smell, but it is unhygienic and can spread disease. It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria1, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans2. It can also contain nasty bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like roundworm, the larvae of which can cause loss of vision. The charity are urging the public to always pick up after their dog using a Poo Bag or a scooping device before disposing of it in any bin and then to wash their hands when they get home.

Fiona Gregan, Education Manager at Dogs Trust said: “It is vital that we teach the next generation of dog owners the importance of picking up after their dog. Dog fouling is a human problem, not a dog one and this is the foundation we use when teaching children. We will educate the children through a three tier approach towards dog fouling – ‘Law, Health Implications and the People it can affect’. We hope that by teaching these simple principles to children it will instil the importance of taking responsibility for their own dogs for years to come and will help make Ireland a better place to live for both humans and dogs.”

There are certain people in our community who are more at risk of coming into contact with dog poo and putting their health at risk, such as; wheelchair users, visually impaired people, babies and toddlers who love to explore the world with their hands, those who use buggies and prams, as well as people playing sports. Whether you own a dog or not, dog waste in public spaces affects everyone.

The charity is asking dog walkers to be kind to their community – dog poo can get on wheels, hands and feet. So please Bag It, Bin it!

Remember that cleaning up after your dog is the law and owners who don’t are guilty of an offence and can be fined if the poo is left behind!

Sarah Lynch, Campaigns Manager at Dogs Trust said: “As a part of our wider mission to make Ireland the best country in the world for dogs and their owners, it is important that we encourage people to take responsibility and pick up after their dog. Always bag it, bin it and remember any bag and any bin will do!”

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It’s the Law!

Section 22 Subsection 1 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 states that

(1) Where faeces has been deposited by a dog in any place to which this subsection applies, the person in charge of the dog shall immediately remove the faeces and shall ensure that it is properly disposed of in a suitable sanitary manner.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to a place that is—

(a) a public road,

(b) land forming part of a retail shopping centre,

(c) a school ground, sports ground, playing field or recreational or leisure area,

(d) a beach,

(e) the curtilage of a dwelling the occupier of which has not consented to the presence of the dog in the curtilage, or

(f) such other place as may be prescribed.

Subsection 4 of Section 22 states

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

Health Implications

Dog Poo can make people sick as it can contain nasty bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like roundworm, the larvae of which can cause loss of vision.

Dog waste can also spread illness and disease to other dogs and wildlife.

Always use a Poo Bag or a scooping device and wash your hands when you get home.

Dog faeces are one of the most common carriers of the following:











It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.

Source 1: Woodhall, Dana, et al. “Ocular Toxocariasis: Epidemiologic, Anatomic, and Therapeutic Variations Based on a Survey of Ophthalmic Subspecialists.” Ophthalmology, vol. 119, no. 6, 2012, pp. 1211–1217., doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.12.013

Source 2: Mateus, Teresa, et al. “Multiple Zoonotic Parasites Identified in Dog Feces Collected in Ponte de Lima, Portugal—A Potential Threat to Human Health.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 11, no. 12, Jan. 2014, pp. 9050–9067., doi:10.3390/ijerph110909050.

B&A Survey 2017 found the following:

92% of dog owners (sample of 370) do pick up their dog’s poo.

68% of (999) surveyed claim they often witness dog walkers not cleaning up after their dog.

53% also indicated that there is a big problem with dog fouling in their area.

7 in 10 claimed to have walked in dog waste on the street, 60% in a park, 44% walked dog poo in to the house unbeknownst to themselves, 43% came across dog poo in the local children’s park, 24% rolled a buggy through dog waste, 20% rolled a bicycle through it, 10% rolled their wheelchair through it.

The Big Scoop Education workshops

During the week commencing 12th March, the Education and Community team at Dogs Trust will be targeting over 124 primary schools nationwide reaching over 28,500 children for ‘The Big Scoop’ campaign, sending them information packs and educational materials.

In addition, the Education and Community Officers will visit some of these schools delivering ‘The Big Scoop’ workshops with the aim of highlighting that dog fouling is not a dog problem but a human one.

Every school involved will receive ‘The Big Scoop’ school pack, which contains posters, stickers, fact sheets and activities, all designed to educate children on the importance of cleaning up after your dog.

Every targeted school will also be invited to participate in a poster competition to highlight the importance of this issue. The school that wins this competition will have their poster used in our campaign next year.

Children who receive these packs and workshops will understand Dogs Trust’s 3 tier approach towards dog fouling, which are the main areas of the campaign; – Law, Health and people it can affect.

  • Dog fouling is against the law – leaving your dog’s poo on the street may result in a fine.
  • They will also learn that dog waste carries bacteria and possibly worms, so can be a health risk.
  • Fouling can affect everyone but certain people in our communities are more at risk, such as those pushing prams, wheelchair users, visually impaired people, people playing sport and children playing.
  • They will also be taught a simple method of how to pick up a dog poo, using a poo bag. We would always encourage young children to be accompanied by an adult when walking a dog.

Schools receiving The Big Scoop workshops:

Day County School Name Address 
Monday Galway Gardenfield NS Tuam, Co Galway
Monday Dublin Corduff Junior School Blanchardstown
Monday Wexford Piercetown National School Piercetown, Wexford
Monday Laois Portlaoise Educate Together Portlaoise
Monday Dublin Cnoc Mhuire SNS Knockmore, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Monday Limerick Nicker National School Nicker, Palasgreen, Co. Limerick
Tuesday Galway St Vincents Coolarne, Co Galway
Tuesday Dublin Oliver Plunkets
Tuesday Cork Togher National School Dunmanway, Co. Cork
Tuesday Wexford Ballindaggin National School Ballindaggin, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
Tuesday Westmeath Mullingar Educate Together Mullingar
Wednesday Mayo St Josephs NS, Ballinrobe Ballinrobe, Co Mayo
Wednesday Dublin Sacred Heart Killenarden, Dublin 24
Wednesday Cork Scoil Naisiunta Rae Na Ndoiri Macroom, Co. Cork
Wednesday Kilkenny Scoil Naisiunta Muire Gan Smal Graigenamanagh Co Kilkenny
Wednesday Leitrim Scoil Mhuire National School Carrick-On-Shannon
Thursday Roscommon St John’s National School Lecarrow, Co Roscommon
Thursday Dublin Queen of Angels Wedgewood, Dublin 16
Thursday Kerry Flemby National School Tralee, Co. Kerry
Thursday Dublin 15 Mary Mother of Hope JNS Littlepace, Dublin 15
Thursday Tipperary Dualla NS Dualla,Cashel, Co Tipperary
Thursday Laois St Josephs Girls N.S Mountmellick, Co Laois

Dogs Trust Ireland

Dogs Trust has been working in Ireland since 2005 and its mission is to bring an end to the destruction of stray and abandoned dogs through a national responsible dog ownership campaign, including a subsidised neutering and microchipping campaign and an education programme.

There are currently 154 dogs and puppies awaiting their forever homes.

Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

Dogs Trust has a non-destruction policy; we never destroy a healthy dog.

The Centre is based at:

Dogs Trust Dublin Rehoming Centre
Ashbourne Road
Dublin 11

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