Estevan area residents are being reminded about the importance of good pet ownership now that spring has arrived and more people are out and about.
A news release says that picking up after your dog's waste is essential for your health, the health of your pet and Estevan's environment. The simple act of picking up after your dog can help remove harmful nutrients and bacteria from local waterways and keep our citizens and your neighbours healthy and their shoes clean.
"Most pet owners are very responsible. But we do have high traffic areas with people that are not picking up after their animal, and over time, it accumulates in the parks," said Special Constable Morgan Prentice, who is the bylaw enforcement officer with the Estevan Police Service.
"There are safety risks with having excessive poop leftover — with parasites — and other dogs like to roll in it. The last thing we want to do is fine someone for not cleaning up after their pet, but giving warnings is not working."
Problem areas are Lynn Prime Park, public school grounds and in Cactus Park.
Prentice added, "Owners aren't even supposed to have dogs, whether leashed or not, on school grounds. The grounds will be an area that we will be focusing on."
City of Estevan parks manager Rod March said: "There's way too much waste. That's because people are out walking in late fall, early winter. They don't pick up after their dogs, then the snow comes. By the time spring rolls around, you've really got a real mess on your hands down here.
“If residents notice an area that garbage cans are not placed to meet usage needs, please let us know. We do have 150 garbage cans spread throughout our parks, but we can always add more or move them to meet demand."
Residents should also be aware of Section 11 of the Bylaw that states any dog or cat running at large on municipal property is subject to a fine. This means all animals should either be on a leash or at a dog park that permits off-leash activities. There is one off-leash park for large and small dogs in the free park area of Woodlawn Regional Park.