Dog Fouling: A Hidden Health HazardThis is a personal account of the health risks and social implications of dog fouling, emphasizing the need for greater attention and initiative

Today Dog Fouling cost me €30 and a lot of unnecessary hassle and anxiety. Not because I was fined, but because my son who has an Intellectual Disability, stood in it while we were on our way to the cinema and attempted to clean himself by wiping it off on his clothes. This necessitated a diversion into Dunnes to buy a new tracksuit pants and a quick change and wash in the toilets. He’s 6ft 3ins. He doesn’t adjust easily to change of plans or stress. He doesn’t understand the risks of dog faeces.

Every year Disability Organisations and Campaigners, myself included, highlight the risks around dog fouling. It is something when neglected and allowed to develop has a huge impact on the independence and mobility of people with disabilities. This is something that we need to have more focus. The health risks are significant. Dog faeces contains Campylobacter which causes severe tummy upsets. It may also contain Toxomara Canis, Dog Roundworm,. This can damage internal organs and cause blindness.

This is something that I would like to bring to Cork City Council for more attention and greater initiative. It’s something that really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Not only from the point of view of the health risks but the social aspects. It is a real sign of a downturn in an area when there is a Dog Fouling problem that is left unattended. We need to do better for our neighbourhoods for our physical and mental health.