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Pooper Snooper: a free app to tackle dog fouling

A new app designed to encourage dog owners and wider communities to take responsibility for tackling dog fouling in their local area has been launched.

Pooper Snooper, a free smartphone application and website aims to build public awareness and inturn increase social pressure on dog fouling, and to identify problem hotspots to allow for better targeted enforcement activities.

To achieve these aims, the mobile app, designed by Natural Apptitude, enables you to quickly and accurately record the locations of dog fouling on an interactive map, providing an overview of dog fouling hotspots. Any dog fouling incidents that are cleaned up can be marked as resolved, and bin locations can be recorded within the app, with a “find nearest bin” function helping you locate bins in unfamiliar areas. To help raise public awareness you can share your records along with an overview of dog fouling in the local area, on Twitter and Facebook. The app also has a gamification element to encourage sustained public engagement via the inclusion of leader boards and personal profile pages on which a user’s stats appear.

Natural Apptitude CEO, Dave Kilbey, said: “Our main hope for Pooper Snooper is that in years tocome it will actually cease to be necessary. A dog poo free environment may seem like fantasy, but it shouldn’t be that way. We hope that Pooper Snooper can start to turn the tide on this modern-day scourge by actively engaging people with the problem and by raising awareness of the sheer scale of the issue. Ultimately, what is required is a cultural shift around dog fouling; from tacit acceptance to zero tolerance, regardless of where it takes place. Dog poo is not only unpleasant, but a form of hazardous waste that can have serious repercussions for the health both of humans and livestock.”

The supporting website enables local authorities and other interested parties to see dog foulingincidents on an interactive map based on local authority boundaries. This is designed to further raise public awareness and promote engagement on the issue. Anyone can export the data to enable enforcement effort to be targeted where most required.

In Bristol, about four tonnes of dog faeces is produced every day and on average there are 11 to 26 faecal deposits per kilometre of pavement. Evidence has found these are concentrated around schools and in the first 300 metres of paths in parks and nature reserves.

Councillor Steve Pearce Cabinet member with responsibility for waste, said: “Dog fouling is simplynot acceptable, and we need to see everyone taking responsibility for our city and how it looks. We hope that this initiative will go some way towards addressing dog fouling in Bristol and help to change the attitudes of those who think it is appropriate to leave dog mess on the streets for anyone to stand in.”

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