There are people who go out of their way to clean the streets. They need to be commended for the hard work they’ve achieved.
Then, there are also animals that do their part. In fact, one dog deserves recognition because of what he does for his town.
A clever dog has helped the recycling industry and has cleared the streets of litter. He does so by collecting hundreds of plastic bottles when he goes out for a walk every single day. Scruff is a 13-year-old border collie. The people who know him in the local community call him “the eco dog” as they enjoy watching him pick up trash and clean the streets.
His owners, David Grant and Yvonne Faulkner-Grant, adopted him from a farm in 2009. Like the other puppies out there, he enjoys playing with sticks. Unfortunately, his parents are scared of him getting mouth splinters. Yvonne has been discouraging Scruff from doing his favorite game. So, they made him start playing with plastic bottles.
After some time and they finally enjoyed Scruff for 12 years, David and Yvonne noticed that their hound actually had an affinity for plastic bottles. What he did was pick one up and carry it. He wouldn’t let go of it until he came across another one.
“It seemed wrong that he would pick the bottle up and then drop it again—we thought people would think we were dropping litter,” Yvonne shared. “So we got him to start bringing the bottles to us and we put them in a bag and then count them up at the end of the walk.”
The counting of plastic bottles started in 2022. They never thought about doing this before and after a slow start with just 40 bottles collected in the month of January, Scruff was finally able to collect more than 1,000 of them.
In the last year, David and Yvonne have been sharing Scruff’s green credentials via social media. They’ve also used the #scruffsbottlepatrol hashtag for those who have seen their pictures and videos.
“People have said he should be working for the council, and everybody loves it when they see him in the street,” David said. “He is such an obedient dog and very friendly—your typical sheep dog. He never chews the bottles or the lids he just wanted to play.”
“Now, he seems to go out looking for them on walks.”
Right now, the couple is storing all the bottles on one side of the garden. They had planned to keep those there until the new year where they can finally conduct a final count. When that happened, they don’t want to stop. Scruff will continue to clean the streets and parks during his walks outside, and this time, they will recycle the bottles every month instead of collecting them on a yearly basis
“Sometimes he collects 15 and sometimes it’s only one—it depends how dirty the streets are that day,” said David. “Someone said to me the other day that not all heroes wear capes and that is exactly what I think Scruff is doing—being a hero.”
“If a dog can do it anyone can.”
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