EDITORIAL – Poop on dog owners who leave full bags behind

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WE TOOK THE DOG FOR A WALK on the Rivers Trail near the airport over the holidays. It’s a great place for that, as evidenced by the large number of other families who were there with their dogs at the same time.

The City provides doggy bags for the dog walkers, as it does at quite a few other sites around town.

For the most part, owners are pretty good about picking up after Fido does his business. What’s astounding is what happens next. All along the sides of the trail were scattered full bags of dog excrement. That’s right — the owners were scooping up their dog’s crap in the bags provided, then leaving the used bags behind.

We could give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were intending to pick the bags up on their way back but it’s obvious by the number of bags laying around that’s not the case.

The Rivers Trail isn’t the only place this happens. It’s a problem at Kenna Cartwight Park and other dog-friendly areas as well. I don’t get the thinking process by which somebody would take the trouble to pick up dog feces in a biodegradable bag and then leave it there.

Traditionally, we complain about the ugly dog poop that emerges as the snow melts in the spring, but this situation takes it to a new level.

Fortunately, a number of dog owners who use the airport trail regularly make a practice of collecting up abandoned bags and delivering them to the waste bins at the parking areas.

They should receive a hero’s medal for caring enough to take on such an unpleasant task. As for those who create the problem in the first place, poop on you.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8164 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – Poop on dog owners who leave full bags behind

  1. Rob Higgins // January 8, 2020 at 8:00 AM // Reply

    I think parks departments might want to consider the real possibility that when they label their dog waste bags as biodegradable, that many users believe they are intended to be tossed into the surrounding area. Perhaps thinking the bag has some special properties that will make the waste disappear quickly. The problem is extensive throughout BC. I’m convinced that some notable proportion of people who do this, think this is the intent of providing the biodegradable bags.

    • Judging by the reports of microplastics being found in the flesh of ocean-dwelling fish, it seems likely that the words “biodegradable” and “plastic” don’t belong together. The plastic just breaks down into smaller and smaller particles but it remains “plastic”. Better to leave the fully biodegradable dog poop lying on the ground than to encase it in a virtually immortal material.

  2. In our neighbourhood, they mostly refrain from tossing them on the sidewalk, waiting until they get to the alley before decorating the surroundings. I once, from a distance, saw a man let his dog drop one in our nearby tot lot. Knowing where the chap lived, I in turn dropped a pointed, signed note in his mail box. Within ten minutes, his fiery wife appeared on our stoop. She near shouted at me, glaring the whole, while declaring, “I want you to know he intended to go back later and pick that up.” Yah, I bet he did with her breathing after him every step of the way.

  3. Mel Formanski // January 7, 2020 at 10:23 AM // Reply

    You could take it to the next level like I did when I confronted a fellow for not picking up after his dog. His ignorance was astounding as was his language so when he walked away I picked it up and smeared it on his windshield. Problem solved.

  4. Alan Kuhnert // January 7, 2020 at 7:30 AM // Reply

    Consider yourselves lucky when it comes to poopy dog bags. Having just moved here from Surrey where 🐶 parks are seemingly places where you let your pooch poop freely and where oftentimes dog owners who utilize park trails let their dogs poop freely on trails. What astounds me is there are poop piles within 20 yards of the poop garbage bin and the free doggy bags!

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