Throughout Waverley West there are lovely walking paths and sidewalks, allowing residents to access lakes and forests and playgrounds.
Most of the paths and sidewalks were buried under mountains of snow this winter but once the snow began to melt it revealed that people have been letting their dogs do their business all over the sidewalks and paths.
Anyone out for a walk had to tread very carefully to avoid stepping in the excrement and this was upsetting to many residents.
The City of Winnipeg has a very clear bylaw outlining the issue of feces on public property, according to spokeswoman Tammy Melesko:
"The City of Winnipeg Pound By-law 2443/79 Section 20.(1)(c) states that no owner shall allow his dog to defecate on any public or private property other than the property of its owner. Where a dog does defecate on property other than the property of its owner, the dog owner must remove the excrement immediately. A dog owner who fails to clean up after their dog faces charges being laid under the Pound By-law. The dog owner would then be required to appear before a magistrate in Provincial Court."
It is hoped that throughout the upcoming months of summer and well into next winter and beyond, residents will practse responsible dog ownership by cleaning up after their pets. Melesko explains: "
Responsible dog owners clean up after their pets. Other than being a nuisance, dog and cat excrement may be harmful to your family’s health because roundworms and other diseases can be passed to humans by pet feces.
"Young children are especially susceptible because they play and crawl in parks. To prevent the spread of disease, stoop and scoop and have your pet checked regularly by a veterinarian. Carry a plastic bag with you when walking your dog. Use it like an inside-out mitt. Once you remove the feces, tie the bag and drop it in the nearest garbage container.
"Remember to wash your hands as soon as possible."
Although there are many garbage containers throughout Waverley West, it may be that additional containers should be added around the paths and sidewalks for easy access.
In any case, there are options if residents notice that someone is not cleaning up after his or her pet. Citizens can call 311 to report cases where dogs have defecated on public property.
We all need to do our part to keep Waverley West clean and beautiful.
Kristi Anaka is a community correspondent for Waverley West. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.