Time To Ban Dogs From John Rowswell Hub Trail?

It’s that time of the year when winter gives up it’s hideous poopy secrets. Yes, the spring thaw is uncovering all those buried treasures left behind on the John Rowswell Hub Trail when dog owners chose to look the other way. It’s an ongoing issue and one that has no easy solution. Short of banning dogs from the Hub Trail how does Sault Ste. Marie manage this messy situation that isn’t just gross but also a legitimate health concern?

Christine Ropeter, Assistant Manager of the Conservation Authority, points out that while portions of the Hub Trail run through Conservation Authority property all maintenance of the trails fall under the auspices of the City.

With a note of frustration in her voice she reinforced that the aberrance of the poop and scoop by-laws are a concern every season – summer, winter, spring and fall.

“It’s an issue period,” said an exasperated Ropeter. “There is a poop and scoop bylaw in the City and they unfortunately don’t abide by it. Or if they do abide by it –they bag it and toss it and then we find the poopy bags hanging from the trees. I’ll never understand why people bag it and then throw it off to the side of the trail.”


  1. Brenda and David R; my point exactly….ENFORCEMENT.. We now have several generations of people who grew up with no consequences for their actions and it’s starting to show up in a lot of ways, stoop and scoop being only one of them. You can put all the laws on the books that you like but if no one is there to make you toe the scratch, what good are they? I see people with two or more Large dogs living in a small apartment and they walk the dog around the block twice a day on a short leash and are proud as hell that they are DOG OWNERS… A true dog lover doesn’t OWN a dog, they have a lifetime companion that needs a lot of exercise and attention, more so than a child , in some respects. I’ve had my Parsons Russell(or he’s had me) for 8 years now, and we still haven’t figured out exactly who’s the boss, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I pick up after him and take care of him and exercise him constantly and when summer gets here will be on the hub trail. One thing I promise you, you will never find his crap on the walkway or hanging in a tree. I love nature and so does my dog, one of the reasons I live up here…Just wish something could be done about winter…lol. Put some summer students to work to catch some of these people with the authority to issue a ticket for not picking up, give them something to do for the summer….

  2. Responsible dog owners will continue posting comments defending their actions, as well they should. Banning dogs is not really the solution, as less responsible dog owners will simply ignore the ban — and really, who is going to enforce such a ban? And, the same less responsible owners will simply continue to walk their dogs in other areas — school yards, for example — and not bother to stoop and scoop.

    It’s a product of the “no one is going to tell ME what to do” generation. I don’t know what the solution might be, but I’m certain it won’t be an easy one.

  3. I have owned and walked dogs for years and also have stepped in poop an owner failed to pick up. I really don’t understand the mentality for not picking it up. You buy brown bags at the $ store, always have one or two in your pocket, turn it inside out, bend down and pick it up. Takes about 3-5 seconds then either drop it in the garbage bins that are provided or take it home and drop in garbage. Anyone who owns a dog knows this all comes with the responsibility of owning a dog (big or small) they all poop! Get with the program people!!

  4. Couple of points here to make as a dog owner.. I pick up after mine unless we are deep in the bush, always have, always will. And this isn’t just a problem in Sault Ste Marie, it’s a problem all over the country. Lived in Southern Ontario for a few months a couple of years ago and the problem is widespread down there too. People want dogs but the act of picking up a pile of poop is just not something they want to do, too disgusting. The streets all over town are terrible, not just the Hub trail. Take a walk down Allard or Chapple, or go into any of the various school yards in these neighborhoods. I watch people every night that walk their dogs after dark so they don’t have to worry about anyone watching them. The idiots that let a large dog drop a couple of major tree trunks right in the middle of the sidewalk and keep going are all over the city, not just on your precious hub trail. I ,too, will never understand the logic of picking it up and tossing it in the bush. All I can think of is they pick it up when they are being watched, then throw it in the bush when out of sight, God forbid they should carry it a few yards to a garbage can, what a disgusting thought.. Unless there is some concrete effort to enforce the law somehow things will never change, and I can’t see too many of the Soo’s finest on mountain bikes doing this job, not at 100 grand a year or more…Problem…Yes, …Solution, no idea…But we need one, and not just banning dogs….

  5. In the warmer weather, there should be bike patrols. Either police or someone with authority to issue fines, as they do at Topsail Island. But bottom line, people in this city are lazy. How many times have you seen cars and trucks pull into Fort Creek, open their doors and just let their dogs out while they sit in the vehicle? Yes police have better things to do than chase after lazy people. How about people take pictures of those not picking up and post them online? Shaming people may help.

  6. It is sad that some people let their dogs go loose on the hub trail and do not pick up after them. It is very disgusting and lazy. I wonder if there were volunteers or some type of enforcement every now and then that people would be more responsible? Fines might work? Never seen it enforced?

  7. Many people don’t care when no one is watching. It’s just plain laziness. My thoughts are ban the dogs. Pretty soon dogs won’t be able to leave their owners property. Too bad the behaviour of some have to ruin it for the rest.

  8. People are lazy, and disgusting! I always clean up after my dogs and it’s idiots like these that will ruin a good thing. They should put those cops on bikes or something to monitor the trails and ticket these assholes if they can catch them.

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