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Landfill Dogs – The Real Story

A recent blog was posted under the heading “Landfill Dogs” which showed a US lady who has been saving dogs rescued from a life of scrounging through waste on a local landfill. It gave the impression that all landfill operators are at the best unfeeling toward stray animals, and at worst neglectful and cruel.

Now, that has not been my experience, and the following video showing an act of kindness from a driver (or from a member of the landfill site staff or management), is in my opinion much more typical:

So, I don’t think that it is reasonable that all operators in the landfill industry in general should be tarred with the same brush, and shown in a bad light on this, as may be the unintended consequence of the “stray dogs” videos available on YouTube.

Surely there is another story here which the best landfill operators in the landfill industry could be telling, which would be to show that:

  1. There is a generally accepted “good practice guide” for stray animals which they and their national landfill industry supports
  2. They comply with this.

I have visited many UK landfill sites over recent years and I have seen no stray dogs which have clearly been allowed to roam for a long period at any MSW landfills here.

However, I have seen strays on some landfill sites in Portugal, North Africa, and some in Malaysia. I have not worked much in other countries, but it seems that from the first video, the US has a number of landfill sites where dogs are not controlled and roam free.

One of Shannon Johnstone’s evocative pictures published with her special permission.

The full Landfill Dogs gallery is available here.

It is not unexpected that stray dogs and cats will gravitate to such locations given the possibility of food which they can scavenge, especially if they can easily get to the tipping face. There remain many landfills outside of the most highly waste-regulated nations, were there is incomplete fencing and this happens.

But, these animals should be caught and delivered to local dog rescue centers, or else there will be many diseased animals. Dogs will roam the landfill in packs, puppies will be born, and there will be a potential for contagion to spread outside the landfill.

I imagine that among our almost 800 subscribers to this blog, and our other visitors, many of you will know of the procedures for dealing with strays which are applied at your own landfill.
If so, I am sure that both myself and our readers would be very interested to hear from you about the guidelines and/or internal procedures your company follows to achieve best practice. Why not do that and show us all “the best of the landfill industry” in the true light in which it should be seen, as an example to other landfillers?

I am looking forward to receiving your comments.

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