Are you fed up of being out and about on your walk only to be faced by, shall we call it ‘presents’ left behind and not picked up by other irresponsible dog owners? Meet Stephen a man on a mission to make serial dumpers and leavers pick up their poo. He tells us a little bit about his life, his dog and what made him invent Poopins which he’s funding with his Kickstarter campaign HERE.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how old is Charlie and where do you both live?
Charlie is a 1 and a half year old griffon. The office dog and clown. She lives with my wife Rachel and I in Sumner, Christchurch New Zealand – a seaside suburb that seems is slowly being overun with poo!
Q: What would a normal day in the life of Charlie be like?
Midnight – hearing possums on the roof and trying to take them on – one by one… she slowly backs down and back to curl up on the bed. Then she’s off to work on the Vespa with me – we have a bag made specially that she fits in between my legs and the front of the bike – 20 minutes to work while she soundly sleeps then greets everyone one by one in the Studio I run. A daily walk on the beach on the way home to then hang out with our neighbours dog Ronnie.
Q: What inspired you to invent Poopins?
The 30 turd walk. One day we encountered 30 poops on the way to the beach over a space of 4 blocks – so I started making markers out of toothpicks and paper. That was about 5 years ago but I realised there’s quite a few people who have tried that before and I didn’t like the fact that it really just added to the litter. So we found a stock that’s made of crushed up rocks meaning it biodegrades after a while back into dust. We then liked the wee play on words with poopin and it being a pin shape so Poopins was born. Our research showed that most dog owners take the same route most days and idea is that it hopefully shames the owner out the next day – they feel bad and pick up their poop. It also creates a simple warning for runners and joggers to not stand in them… nothing worse than trying to get that stuff out of the grooves of your new trainers.
Q: I love the sayings. Did you come up with them?
Yeah – we had fun with that – we’ve got heaps more but the top 12 made the grade. There’ll be a couple of blank ones too so if you know who that owner is – it’s a real name and shame and we’d encourage you to write their name on it.
Q: The Poopins are beautifully designed, do you have a background in design?
Yes. I run a small design studio in New Zealand, there’s 4 of us and we do a lot of arts based work as well as commercial projects. We’ve been working a lot on post quake campaigns and with the mental health Foundation on the Allright? campaign which you can see more of here as well as our other work http://www.smccarthy.co.nz. Poopins is a nice break away from Client based work – it’s something I’ve talked about for ages and finally got around to doing.
Q: I’m guessing you’ve been asked this before, but what stops you from picking up other dog’s poos instead of using Poopins?
I agree – in an ideal world everyone should have dog bags on them – or they are available in dispensers on lamposts etc but I’m afraid it’s not a reality. So we think in a fun way this helps raise awareness and if you can give these to your friends or family as a bit of a novelty gift, it will hopefully get them talking, they may use them a few times and it will help other people notice that there’s a lot more dog poop around than what you think.
Q: Have you been using Poopins? Have they made a difference?
We’ve been using prototypes around our suburb and yes it’s got people talking. I think that’s the thing – we’ve had some nationwide tv coverage, people talking about them on blogs, some haters some likers, but overall it’s raising awareness that it’s a problem and it’s a problem that most people don’t see – but now you can’t miss it or them!
Q: What can the WW readers do to help your cause?
We need to raise 10k on Kickstarter for the first production – so we’re asking people to pledge to help make poopins a reality. If you pledge $12 and we hit the goal you get a pack of 20 Poopins mailed to you anywhere in the world. We’ve got less then 20 days to do it and if we don’t make the goal we get nothing (and you wont be charged ) but if we hit the target – we are away.
So if you’d like to help Stephen in his fight to end serial dumpers and leavers HERE is the link to his Kickstarter Campaign.