Activist dog collected 1,300 plastic bottles for recycling in 2022

Ellen Eastwood

Border collies are known for their energy and intelligence. Bred to be herding dogs, they love having a job to do.

When Scruff the border collie was young he channeled his energy into finding the biggest sticks he could. However, the vet was concerned we would scratch his gums, so his humans discouraged him from this habit. Undeterred, Scruff simply moved on to collecting used plastic bottles he found on the ground.

Finding a bottle, Scruff would grab it and play with it for a while before moving on to another one. He seemed to enjoy the bottles as much as the sticks, but his humans didn't want to leave his used bottles lying around the neighborhood.

So they came up with the idea of bringing a bag along with them and collecting the bottles Scruff was "herding." On each walk, Scruff would collect more and more bottles and bring them back to his humans for collection.

Over the course of 2022, Scruff worked overtime collecting empty bottles around his neighborhood in Central England. As a border collie, he has a lot of energy and usually needs two walks a day totaling four to five miles.

Once the year was over, his human, David Grant, announced Scruff's total on his Facebook page.

Drumroll please….. Scruff's total for 2022 is…………. ONE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED and THIRTY-FOUR!!! Amazing and upsetting at the same time. To think this would still be on the streets is shocking. Well done, Scruff, we are so proud of you!

It was a big job for Scruff's humans to take all those bottles to the recycling center. Apparently, the staff was in shock when they heard they were all collected by a dog.

What started as a way to keep an energetic dog happy has morphed into a message. As Grant says: "If this inspires more people to help clean up the streets, it will be more of a success."

Meanwhile, Scruff's tally for 2023 has already started. Grant has decided to take Scruff to a local town or village once a month this year to help clean up and spread his furry buddy's inspiring message of environmental activism.

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