IT’S a poor state of affairs when you can’t take your dog for a walk round the block without her coming back with her paws slashed to ribbons.
But sadly for Lily the springer spaniel, that’s exactly what happened.
Owner Louise Turton was horrified to discover her poor pet in agony after stepping on glass from broken booze bottles on open land in Marsh Green.
Given the area’s poor track record for litter this really was, sadly, an accident waiting to happen.
For all too long the estate has been plagued by a selfish minority who think nothing of dumping all manner of rubbish anywhere but in bins or the tip (this long predates the closure of the relatively nearby Orrell recycling centre, by the way).
Local councillors and residents are forever having to organise clean-ups after another bout of fly-tipping despoils fields and chokes streams.
Litter blows around the shopping precinct as if no-one has cleaned it for months, even if cleansing had only just left. This despite an abundance of conveniently-placed waste bins: clearly some folk think they serve a purely ornamental purpose.
Now the scourge of smashed bottles has claimed a victim. Lily has undergone surgery to her injuries and Louise has been presented with a £121 vet’s bill. The owner wants the police to intervene but, with the best will in the world, they don’t have either the time or the authority to prosecute for littering. The council, as far as I can see, is doing its level best in difficult circumstances.
What it boils down to is educating those for whom littering is callously automatic. I can understand those who would be afraid of approaching a large and intimidating group of teens to tell them to pick up their rubbish, but some would have the courage to do so and I see no reason for not shopping them to the authorities behind their backs, especially if you know where they live.
The wonders of technology also allow for the gathering of film evidence too.
If they insist on having to learn the hard way...