It’s dog walking season again, and that means dog POOP season again.
Every responsible dog owner agrees… picking up after your dog is a MUST. No matter where or when it occurs, there is NO excuse for not scooping the poop. So here are 10 reasons why EVERY dog owner MUST be responsible for picking up EVERY TIME.
- It’s the law. Just like littering, it’s unlawful NOT to pick up after your dog, and your violation is subject to fine. Canton Township’s Ordinance mandates up to a $500 fine for not picking up your dog’s fecal matter.
- It’s common courtesy. Cleaning up after your dogs shows respect for our neighbors and our community. Only irresponsible dog owners leave their dog’s poop for others to look at, step in or clean up.
- Dog Poop is unhealthy. Abandoned dog poop can host diseases and/or parasites which can infect other dogs who come into contact with it, or be transmitted to people who accidentally step in it and track it home. Particularly at risk, of course, are children who play on the ground. Disposing of dog poop immediately helps all dogs stay healthier and reduces feces-borne parasites and illnesses.
- Dog Poop bio-degrades slowly. Some people think it’s okay to leave dog poop because it will break down naturally. However, the biodegration process is very slow, and, especially in places where the dog population is high, abandoned dog poop can accumulate faster than it breaks down. In the cold weather, poop freezes and, because poop that is frozen to the ground is almost impossible to clean up, it will remain where you left it for several weeks to several months.
- It’s not fertilizer! In fact, poop impedes landscaping efforts. Leaving dog poop encourages other dogs to mark that spot (by urinating over the previous dog’s scent): poop left on the grass contributes to the problem of “nitrogen burn.”
- Dog Poop pollutes the water. Dog feces, like any feces, contains high levels of nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, which actually pollute the water. Cleaning up after your dog is environmentally responsible. And please don’t dispose of dog poop in storm drains: storm drains are a direct conduit to our water system!
- Dog Poop is unsightly. Everybody knows that. It’s disgusting. Pick it up. We all deserve to live in a clean city where we can be proud and step lightly.
- Dog Poop tops the list of complaints against dogs. More than dog aggression, nuisance barking or unsupervised dogs, most complaints against dogs are about people not cleaning up after their dogs.
- Dog Poop makes all dog owners look bad. Every time you don’t pick up after your dog, you are giving one more reason for others to dislike dogs and dog owners.
- Your actions set an example for others. When you pick up after your dog, you are part of the solution! And your actions will help convey the message that it’s the right thing to do. Consider carrying extra bags to offer to others as a subtle and neighborly hint that cleaning up after our dogs is what responsible dog owners do. If you see orphan poop, pick it up with one of those extra bags you are carrying. I know, I know! Nothing like picking up somebody else’s cold poop, but what a message it sends to others! Your actions will encourage others to do the same, and soon, this will be a non-issue, because everybody will simply pick up without giving it a second thought.
It’s up to each of us to do our part in keeping Cherry Hill Village clean and poop-free. Make sure you carry bags with you. In fact, carry extras and offer them to dog owners who aren’t prepared or may not yet be educated about the importance of picking up after their dogs.
*This post was modified from an article posted at the Somerville Dog Owners Club.