Meg, the border collie, cleans up litter in her park.
A six-year-old rescue dog is doing her part to clean up her local park in Great Cornard, Suffolk. The border collie has become so proficient at picking up pop cans and candy wrappers at her local park, that it is often completely litter-free before park workers come on their early morning rounds.
Meg's owner Ken Pople said park visitors and fellow dog walkers are 'wowed' by her trash-cleaning skills. "She just loves doing it and is able to put the litter into all sorts of different bins," the retired taxi driver explained. "There are times when we are out and she will drop her ball and run off to put a can in the bin - it's a sight to see."
Pople said Meg's clean up duties weren't meant to be as a service for the community. Her activities are more an outlet for her super energy. Pople said he adopted her from a problem home and she had not been given any proper training.
"She was an absolute nightmare at first - an absolute lunatic," said Pople. "They are meant to be working dogs but if they cannot work with sheep you have to give them something else to do. It took a lot of patience to train Meg but I could not live with a dog that is not well-behaved."
Not only does she really enjoy the work, her clean-up talents are also starting to rub off on others.
Pople said: "We were out on the meadows once and there was a group of young lads and girls and one of them had lobbed a can into the grass. Meg went along and picked it up and took it over to the nearest bin and dropped it in. The boy's reaction was to say 'that was awesome' so I was able to say 'perhaps that has taught you a lesson, if she can do it, perhaps you can too.'"
"I saw them later and they picked up all their rubbish into carrier bag and the lad gave me a thumb's up sign as he put it all in the bin," said Pople. "I think sometimes a dog can have a better impact at teaching people than I could have done, as they would have undoubtedly taken offence had I told them off."
That's what the dog warden in Great Cornard, Suffolk thinks too. He is so impressed with Meg he's hoping to sign Meg up to participate in their anti-littering campaign.
Ken Pople, 69, trained Meg to channel her energy into cleaning litter