Saanich’s decision leaves responsible dog owners holding the bag

Re: “Saanich pulls dog waste bags from local parks” in the June 2 Saanich News.

It was with surprise and disappointment that I read the article noting Saanich’s decision to stop providing dog waste bags in municipal parks. The decision appears short-sighted and not well thought through.

Here are some questions I wish that the article had addressed. I also have to wonder whether those who made the decision took into account answers to any of these questions.

What is the size of the group of Saanich dog owners who might be affected directly by this small financial saving? This number could be measured by Saanich dog licence sales.

What is the total amount of the funds raised by purchasing Saanich dog licences and what is the disposition of those funds?

Did Saanich explore the option, used by other municipalities, of having advertisement on dog waste bags to help defer their cost?

What percentage of bags left in the “take-a-bag, leave-a-bag” dispensers are biodegradable?

Has Saanich monitored the effectiveness of providing bags by comparing dog waste not removed at the parks that have waste bag dispensers compared to parks without the dispensers?

As a responsible dog owner who always takes care of waste produced by my dog, I too am unhappy with irresponsible dog owners. I pick up after those people’s dogs as well. Not having dispensers available and needing to carry more bags will make that activity more challenging.

As a final comment, I found it an interesting coincidence that a Times Colonist article rallying against dog waste left in parks, came out the same week as your paper published Saanich’s decision. It almost feels like a concerted effort to sway public opinion against dog owners.

C. Dulberg