An oh-so-clever pup is helping clear the streets of litter by collecting and recycling hundreds of plastic bottles during his daily walks.
A 13-year-old border collie named Scruff has been given “the eco dog” nickname by locals in Nuneaton, Warwickshire who love watching him do good for the environment.
Owners David and Yvonne first spotted their litter-picking pup's obsession with plastic bottles on their walks in 2021.
“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 told the South West News Service.
“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.”
In 2022, the couple started tracking the number of bottles and Scruff has already cleared his local streets from over 1,000 plastic items.
The pair have been using the hashtag #scruffsbottlepatrol to share their progress on social media so far this year.
“We get such a good reaction on Facebook where Scruff has been dubbed an eco-dog,” said Yvonne.
“People have said he should be working for the council, and everybody loves it when they see him in the street,” said David.
“He is such an obedient dog and very friendly - your typical sheepdog. He never chews the bottles or the lids he just [wanted] to play.”
“Now, he seems to go out looking for them on walks.”
The bottles are currently being stored in the couple's garden, where they will have one final count-up of Scruff's efforts before recycling them all in the New Year.
Scruff will continue to clean the streets and parks on his walks in 2023, but the pair have decided they will recycle the bottles once a month instead.
David recalled: “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.”