Cllr Frankie Keena, chair of Westmeath County Council's Environment and Water Services SPC; Tom Casserly, dog warden; and Sean O'Laoide, county veterinary officer, are concerned about the dog littering problem.
There may be as many as 10,500 dogs in Westmeath - one for every eight people in the county - but just a third of them are licensed.
However that figure is a mere projection, Westmeath County Council has admitted: the fact is that no-one actually knows how many dogs there are in the county - but everyone knows there's a hell of a lot of doggy-do to be seen in areas popular with walkers.
That's why the council has launched its 'responsible dog ownership' paper, which outlines the issues that have been giving concern - licensing and education; dog control and dog littering - and they want to hear the reactions of the public to the points raised.
The council's veterinary officer, Sean Ó Laoide, warns that the issue of dog litter is important, because of the enormous health risks associated with it.
"It is important that the public are made aware of the health risks that exist after coming in contact with dog faeces<" he said this week.
"Toxocariasis is a disease found in animal faeces which becomes infectious after two to three weeks of the dog faeces being deposited. Children are particularly susceptible to coming into contact with this in green areas where dogs are often left to run and roam and can result in illness and partial loss of sight."
Dog faeces can also carry other infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans and result in gastroenteritis and septicaemia.
In the responsible dog ownership paper, the council states that to appreciate the extent of the dog littering problem, it is vital that the number of dogs in the county be ascertained.
"In Westmeath the number of licensed dogs for 2011 is 3,463 however, it is thought that this is not a true reflection of the actual number of dogs in the county. It is estimated that only 33 per cent of dogs are licensed and therefore the total number of dogs could be in the region of 10,500."
The council is hoping that the public may come up with suggestions on ways in which dog owners can be encouraged to register for a dog licence; and on ways in which awareness on responsible dog ownership can be raised.
The council is also asking the public's opinion on what can be done to encourage the neutering and spaying of dogs, and on whether there is a need for a national campaign to encourage dog food companies and Veterinary Ireland to become involved in the awareness campaign.
At present, besides the requirement that dogs be licensed, at a cost of 20 per year (or 140 for a lifetime licence), dog owners are supposed to keep their dogs under effectual control at all times when outside of the premises of the owner/person in charge of the dog.
Certain breeds must be muzzled, and kept on a short lead by a person aged over 16 and capable of controlling the dog, and all dogs are supposed to have a disk/tag containing their owner's details on their collars, or to be microchipped.
Although there is a fine of 150 that can be levied on those who fail to clean up and properly dispose of their dog's faeces, the council is looking for other solutions to help encourage compliance.
"Would a free supply of bags for cleaning up after your dog encourage you to do so?" is one of the questions on the discussion paper.
The council has listed a number of measures it is considering including in the next county development plan, including a requirement that those walking dogs must carry a bag with them to dispose of faeces; introduction of targeted dog licensing within housing estates; and the introduction of a range of awareness and enforcement programmes.
However, they are hoping the public may respond with further suggestions between now and mid-September.
The council's issues paper is available on line at www.westmeathcoco.ie or can be requested by contacting the Environment Section on 044 93 32226/32125.
All comments and submissions should be submitted to the Environment Section, Westmeath County Council by 5pm on Wednesday, September 19.