A dog trainer from the northeastern region of Japan has decided to dedicate herself to creating a town more pet-friendly by putting up “poop posts” for owners to dispose of their dog’s poo.
Akari Tanaka, 37 years old, a citizen of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, hopes that her initiative will create a better society that allows people to live comfortably with their pets. Residents have tried for years to “make the first move to start cleaning up after their dogs,” she says.
In July 2020, Tanaka set up her first “poop post”. It’s 90 centimeters tall and 50 centimeters in width and is stocked with plastic bags people can use to collect excrement.
After having set up the former post Tanaka noticed that people naturally began using the post without asking and the locals reported to Tanaka that they’d even were able to scoop up litter from other dogs of their owners too. The volume of waste dumped on the roads in front of the salon was noticeably diminished.
Tanaka admits to being stunned when she relocated from Hirosaki just two years ago, from the capital of the prefectural region Aomori to discover that a lot of local parks were unable to allow pets to be allowed in.
She discovered that it was because a lot of dog owners didn’t abide by the rules, and would not take care of their pet’s waste. She determined to take action about it.
It was a challenge to connect with the residents who weren’t used to taking dog waste with them home. That’s when Tanaka thought of seeing a similar post during her visit to the U.S. military base in Misawa within this same area.
Since the posts had plastic bags for cleaning the dog’s excrement with very little effort. Tanaka thought it would be simpler for people passing by to see the posts and then use them to collect the waste that is in the vicinity.
Tanaka utilized crowdfunding on the internet to raise around six million yen ($5,600) in the “poop posts” project, and since then has been capable of establishing posts in three areas within the prefecture. She is currently in talks with local authorities to extend the post to include roadside rest areas as well as public parks.
The idea of Tanaka’s was the inspiration behind Seiji Kataoka who is 46, a hair salon owner from Aomori established an outside post in front of his business. Kataoka stated that the post has given her an opportunity to communicate and connect with her neighbors.
But, there are difficulties. Dog waste has to be removed by any person who decides to set up the post. For parks and public spaces and parks, the establishment of posts might be ruled out on the idea that dog waste should be removed by the owners. However, Tanaka will not give up. In announcing the increasing trend of people going on excursions and with their pets Tanaka said the installation of the posts will result in more people visiting and also help in the revitalization of the region.
Tanaka aims to create an environment in which pets, which are usually considered to be part of the home, will be welcomed into communities “poop posts” are only the beginning. Tanaka also stated that she’d like to improve methods for carrying pets during an evacuation during a catastrophic event.
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