'The Pink Poo Lady': the Edinburgh vigilante taking on dog fouling

Jai Adami with her loyal can of spraypaint
Jai Adami with her loyal can of spraypaint
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Is it a dog-walker? Is it a vandal? No, it's neighborhood superhero Jai Adami - also known as the Pink Poo Lady.

On Earth Day (April 22), dozens of Leith residents, armed with litter pickers and bin bags, took to the streets and performed a public spring clean.

Holyrood Park rangers have been employing similar tactics to Adami

Holyrood Park rangers have been employing similar tactics to Adami

Rallied by organisation Letihers Don't Litter, citizens of the area selflessly polish the pavements and parks of the area, filling their refuse sacks with ditched cigarettes, beer cans and juice bottles.

Following the effort the previously grimy walkways of Leith were spotless - other than the odd circle of pink spray paint. At first glance the neon circles appear to be an act of mindless vandalism, however, on closer inspection the paint highlights a problem that blights the streets of the Edinburgh community: dog poo.

The woman responsible for highlighting where dog walkers, joggers and pram pushers fear to tread is Jai Adami, known by local schoolkids as the Pink Poo Lady.

'You can’t look at the blue skies because you’re having to watch where you put your feet'

Adami has lived in Restalrig for 12 years and admits that negligent dog owners have been a problem since the move.

"I would say it’s always been a problem, I have never noticed much difference," she notes.

After nearly a decade in the area, Adami, along with a group of community-proud chums, took it upon themselves to perform litter picks on their doorstep - and last year Adami decided to tackle the problem of dog poo head on.

Inspired by Leithers Don't Litter and fellow litter-picking vigilantes, the Restalrig resident recently equipped herself with a can of fluorescent paint and began to highlight the problem tarnishing Edinburgh's streets and cycle paths.

Adami explains her motives: "one we want to highlight the problem and two we want to stop people standing in it."

More prevalent in Leith

While Adami by no means believes this is a problem specific to Leith, she suggests that the lack of green-spaces is a problem for dog-owning residents.

"We’re one of the most densely populated parts of Scotland. You’ve got a really high proportion of people living in tenament blocks without their own gardens - for that reason alone you’ve got far more dog poo being found on the streets."

She does, however, believe that some dog owners must take more responsibility for their pet's actions.

If you’re going to have a dog, you’ve got to look after it and looking after it means picking up its poo, because it can’t do it, itself!

"I don’t think they realise the consequences of what they do on other people, when someone’s going for a nice walk, you can’t look at the nice scenery, you can’t look at the blue skies because you’re having to watch where you put your feet."

Engaging with schoolkids

Adami isn't the first to employ this particular tactic, rangers at Holyrood Park have been systematically spraying dog poo and then binning it a week later in order to highlight the issue and warn irresponsible pet owners that the area is being monitored.

It is Adami's nickname which makes her stand apart from the rest, however.

She explains the origins of the comical moniker.

"We had a stall at Leith Chooses and a few of the children came up to us. I had the pink paint with me and this little girl came up to me, about 7 or 8, and said ‘are you the pink poo lady?’ and just the way she said it I burst out laughing. It’s just stuck from that. Her face lit up and I said ‘Ok, why are you interested in it?’"

Rather than distance herself from the nickname, Adami has embraced it and opted to try and educate the local children.

"If you can reach that age group then you must be doing something right, even if they just think it’s a game."

Asked if she feels like a local superhero, Adami scoffs.

"Oh I don’t know about that - more like the local eccentric, or the local mad lady."