A couple of days while I was walking my dogs, I noticed an older gentleman and his Rottweiler-ish looking dog walking ahead of me. It was a gorgeous day and the weather was perfect. Birds were chirping and the squirrels were dancing, while the trees were humming to the sound of a cute Disney song. Life was great.
Then the record came to a screeching halt.
The Rottweiler pooped. It wasn’t a cute little dog poop that my three little dogs put out. It was the King Kong of dog poop. I was walking behind him but STILL i can tell it was rather a large doo doo. It’s alright, I thought. Dog’s just doing what my dogs do. It’s natural.
What WAS NOT alright was the fact that he did not pick it up.
In fact, I yelled out “Sir! Your dog poop!”
What did he do? He proceeds to run away from me. Not just a simple jog, but a full on sprint. I had a choice: chase him down and put him under citizen’s arrest, or pick up the poop and suck it up (“it” is not poop).
I was furious. What can I do?
What about non-dog owners who enjoy these park as much as us dog owners do? What about their kids? These unsuspecting people could step on them or God forbid, lie on them during their picnic. And why give the other dogs an opportunity to roll around in them?
In fact, there are two VERY good reasons why dog owners’ need to pick up their dog’s poop. In fact, they can ruin your lives:
1) Environmental – Dog poop is in fact a MAJOR source of water pollutant:
In the mid-1990s, scientists perfected methods for tracking the origin of nasty bacteria in streams and seawater. From Clearwater, Fla., to Arlington, Va., to Boise the trail has led straight to the hunched-up dog — and to owners who don’t pick up after their pets.
At some beaches, dogs help raise bacteria levels so high that visitors must stay out of the water. Goaded by such studies, some cities have directed as much as $10,000 in the last few years to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets. A few municipalities have started issuing citations to those who ignore pet clean-up ordinances.
At Morro Bay, Calif., for example, dogs contribute roughly 10% of the E. coli, says Christopher Kitts, a microbiologist at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. “And that can be the difference between a beach closing and a beach not closing,” he says.
Places where dogs dirty the water:
- Stevenson Creek in Clearwater, Fla. Residents were worried that a sewage treatment plant contaminated the creek. But when Harwood tested the water, she found that dogs, along with leaky septic tanks and wild animals, were to blame for high bacteria counts. Dog feces probably washed out of yards by the creek, Harwood says.
- Four Mile Run in Arlington and Fairfax counties, Va. Studies show that dogs add to the contamination in this suburban Washington, D.C. stream. Officials calculate that the 12,000 dogs living in Four Mile Run’s watershed leave behind more than 5,000 pounds of “solid waste” every day.
- Boise River in Boise. The river suffers from high bacteria levels that make it unsuitable for swimming. Testing of streams and drainpipes flowing into the river showed that in urban areas, dogs were a leading culprit. In some spots, dogs and cats account for even more of the bacteria than human feces — from dysfunctional septic tanks and leaky sewage pipes — do.
And guess who foots the bill for cleaning these pollutants? The rest of us tax payers, including the responsible dog owners who do clean up their dogs’ poop. So in fact, whether or not you own a dog or believe that dogs’ owners should pick up their dogs’ poop, it’s in our COMMON national interest to point out that irresponsible dog owners are committing a crime against the society AND mother nature, as well as our wallets.
2) Get harasssed by the world (via the Internet) – In Korea, bloggers targeted a woman who apparently was riding the subway and her dog decided to relieve itself on the floor of the train. She flat out REFUSED to clean up her dog poop and let it get stepped all over by her fellow train riders. Her internet title? “Dog Poop Girl“:
In 2005 in South Korea, bloggers targeted a woman who refused to clean up when her dog defecated on the floor of a Seoul subway car, labeling her “dog shit girl” (rough translation into English). Another commuter had taken a photograph of the woman and her dog, and posted it on a popular Korean website. Within days, she had been identified by internet vigilantes, and much of her personal information was exposed on the World Wide Web in an attempt to punish her for the offense. The story received mainstream attention when it was widely reported in South Korean media, and was discussed in Korean communities in the United States as well. The public humiliation led the woman to quit her university, according to reports.
Ok, maybe that was a bit extreme. Well, is it? I’m certain stepping on dog poop on your subway ride to work at early morning is not your definition of a good morning commute.
So please, don’t let dog poop ruin yours or ours. So unless your dog can pick up his own poop, please pick it up.