The five-year-old canine, named Millie, partners with her 80-year-old owner, Alfie Kitson, to maintain the cleanliness of Hereford, England’s streets. Kitson merely needs to point at discarded debris on the ground and instruct, “put that in the bin,” and Millie, a Spanish Podenco, promptly complies.
Millie acquired this skill while residing in Spain with Kitson and his wife, Judith, 75, and has continued her helpful actions since relocating to the U.K. 18 months ago. She has become a familiar sight in the city center, diligently tidying up after individuals who neglect to dispose of their trash.
Kitson, a retired plumber from Ullingswick, Herefordshire, shared with SWNS, “Millie is an incredibly intelligent dog and appears to relish her little party trick.”
“Some people question why I do it, but both Millie and I find it enjoyable, and it contributes to maintaining the city’s cleanliness, our small act of kindness,” he added. “All I have to say is ‘put that litter in the bin,’ and she picks it up and does just that. Passersby seem to adore it, and she consistently receives a round of applause.”
Kitson instructed Millie in this skill after rescuing her from a shelter in Spain, where his family lived for two decades. She was a mere eight months old when they found her abandoned in a rubbish bag tethered to a tree branch.
Upon welcoming her into their home, Kitson witnessed a soldier and his dog performing the same trick in a Malaga park, inspiring him to teach Millie. He gradually elevated a box, similar in size to a public bin, in their Spanish garden, and as Millie grasped the concept, he increased its height. Fortunately, the bins in Hereford perfectly accommodated Millie’s talents when they relocated to the United Kingdom.
“In today’s world, environmental concerns are a pressing issue, so if we can assist in cleaning up litter and plastic from the streets, we are doing our part,” Kitson remarked. “We rescued her because our home felt incomplete without an animal. For animal lovers like us, dogs and cats are an integral part of life.”
“She isn’t just a member of the family; she is the family, and we are delighted to showcase her talents to others because she is truly an exceptional dog,” he proudly stated.
Samuel Tiler, a 45-year-old office worker in Hereford, frequently witnesses Millie’s remarkable cleanup efforts in the city center.
“The first time I saw her in action, I questioned my sanity. I thought, ‘Is that truly a dog tidying up after people?’” he recalled.
“I wish people could be more considerate because it shouldn’t take a dog to clean up after them,” Tiler expressed. “If a dog can contribute to environmental responsibility, surely we can do the same.”