I don’t know who these people are. I know they exist because of the abandoned dog poop piles I see. I find abandoned dog poop piles more often in the City than I do in the woods…and a lot of times sitting in the middle of the sidewalk.
Who ARE these people? I never see them myself.
What do these people tell themselves to make leaving dog poop on the ground ok? Do they live in a vacuum so they don’t know it is rude or a problem for water quality? Do they not know it contaminates stream and lake water and can make people sick? Do they know and just not care? What about the person who lets their dog poop in someone else’s yard and leaves it? What are they thinking?
I think these are the reasons people don’t pick up their dog poop:
- They think dog poop is natural. It is not (especially in the quantities that are generated by our pets) and harms the environment and threatens public health
- They think that picking up dog poop is gross
- They forgot a bag
- They don’t want to carry it with them
- It’s not a law, or they don’t know it is a law (because it is in some places), so they think they don’t have to or it’s not that important
- They are completely self-absorbed and think they are the only people on the planet (kidding…kind of. Ha, ha)
The conversation, Why Don’t People Pick Up Their Dog’s Poop!!, on Dogster is very enlightening and gives you a glimpse into what people on both sides of the fence are thinking.
So how do we reach these people? Let’s think of some ideas.
Let’s say you DID see the person start to walk away from their dog’s poop.
Albeit a bit passive-agressive, I have found it effective to suddenly appear with a poop bag and state something like “man, I know what is is like to forget my poop bags at home. I had someone save me once so I want to pay it forward.”
You could also take a more confrontational, educational approach. No one likes to be told they are wrong so this is a touchy one. You could approach them and “nicely” let them know that they are making a bad name for other dog owners or educate them on the law or the health/environmental impact.
If the offender is someone who is letting their dog poop in your yard and leaving it, there are several ways I have seen people deal with this.
On the more subtle end of the scale, I have seen people post signs in their yard that say “no pooping” or “Please pick up after your pet”. If you see the person doing it, you can ask them to please pick up the dog poop.
There are a couple off little more obvious things you could do too. You could place flags on each pile of poop with a message on them like “my neighbor left this in my yard”. I also think it is a great idea to get their address (say, if you know which house they live it…and, yes, I think it is ok to subtly stalk them to find this out) and mail them a box of poop bags. I think sending them a PoopBuddy package would be great for this. It is sending them a message to pick up their dog’s poop but because they bags are fun and colorful it makes the gesture a little more lighthearted.
I don’t condone this one but I have heard of people scooping up a bunch of dog poop and placing it in the middle the offender’s porch.
But what about all of those people who you don’t see leave dog poop on the ground? How do we reach these people? Please share your ideas in the comments below.