Enrolments for a brand new “Certificate III in Dog Poo Management and Disposal” qualification have opened for the new academic year, in a bold attempt to clean up the streets of Watsonia and the surrounding area. Anecdotally, incidences of abandoned dog faeces across the Diamond Valley have increased exponentially in the last 12 months, as dog owners rediscovered local parks during Melbourne’s lockdown last year. Sadly, this increased use has combined with a simultaneous lack of awareness about the modern custom of picking up after your dog once it’s done its business.
In fact, the situation has become so dire in Watsonia that a support group was established on Facebook last year. Bluntly named “Dogs that S#&% in Watsonia”, the group actively encourages its members to “send in a photo of your dog s#&%ing at one of our beautiful landmarks”. While it remains unclear whether the group is pro- or anti-collection, its mere existence is indicative of a wider problem.
Members of community group pages from across the Diamond Valley region have been duking it out in recent months about the ongoing issue, with combatants falling firmly on both sides of the argument. Regardless of your stance on whether dog owners should be bagging their pet’s poo or not, most people agree that the oddly common practice of bagging the poo but then leaving the bag on the side of a path or hanging from a tree is as absurd as it is self-defeating.
And that’s where the Certificate III in Dog Poo Management and Disposal comes into play. Course manager Felicity Donald said, “At first it was just going to be called the Cert III in Dog Poo Management, but then we noticed some people didn’t know how to dispose of the bags, so we expanded our syllabus”. The first group of students to tackle the course will be taught in modules – including Best Practice Bagging; Contact-free Collection; and Bin It, Don’t Fling It.
According to Donald, “In an ideal world this kind of course doesn’t exist. I mean, it’s not that hard really. But there are steaming piles of evidence littered across the Diamond Valley at the moment that suggest otherwise. Maybe society is getting dumber? Who knows?”
While initial enrolment in the short course has been relatively low, numbers could be significantly boosted if the local council responds to external suggestions to make successful completion of every subject compulsory for dog walkers caught not picking up their pooch’s parcels. Despite some locals claiming that would be an extreme measure, anyone that’s accidentally stepped in a deposit recently would mount a compelling argument to bring that punishment into legislation.