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Doo you or don’t you scoop?

January 30th, 2013 · 19 Comments

NOTE: I took several pictures of the subject matter and deemed them inappropriate at the last minute.

While at the park near Catharine Blaine last Sunday, I was struck by the vast amounts of dog feces.  There were more piles than I could count. Now, I know we are supposed to scoop the poop.  You know we are supposed to scoop the poop.  Here’s why…

The folks at Seattle.gov write

A single gram of pet waste, the size of a pea, contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Left on streets, curb strips and in yards and parks, pet waste can be carried by rainwater to storm drains and into our creeks, lakes and Puget Sound without treatment. It is one of the leading causes of bacterial contamination in our streams and causes other water quality problems just like livestock manure and fertilizer. There are bacteria and micro-organisms in pet waste such as Roundworms, E. coli, and Giardia that can make people sick if they’re ingested. Some can last in your yard for as long as four years if not cleaned up. Children who play outside and adults who garden are at greatest risk of infection. If pet waste is washed into the storm drain it ends up in lakes, streams or marine water, and people can accidentally swallow bacteria and other disease-causing organisms while swimming or playing in the water. These bacteria also end up in shellfish, and can make the people who eat them very sick.

GROSS. If that isn’t enough, there are laws in Seattle to protect our health and our environment which require pet waste to be picked up and disposed of properly.

SMC 9.25.082 (A) Allowing the accumulation of feces (civil infraction, $109.00 fine) (B) Not removing feces from another’s property (civil infraction, $54.00 fine) (C) Not having equipment to remove feces (civil infraction $54.00 fine)

SMC 9.25.081 (G) Keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions (criminal – animal cruelty, maximum $1,000 fine)

SMC 18.12.080 (C) In Parks: Failure to carry equipment for removing feces OR failure to place feces in appropriate receptacle. (civil infraction, maximum $54 fine)

I admit, poop scooping is the worst part of owning our almost 80 pound dog. But I will if you will.

 

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  • ghostinprint

    Who is there to enforce these laws?

  • mintymocha

    Seattle City’s Animal Control division enforces scoop laws. I know two families who received expensive tickets for this infraction at the Magnolia Playfield (32nd & Barrett). And they should have! Dogs are not allowed at organized athletic fields, beaches, or children’s play areas in Seattle parks, per the Seattle Municipal Code. Signs are posted but often ignored. Personal laziness shouldn’t trump community health. Kids step in dog poop when they’re backing up to catch a ball. Or encounter a facefull on a diving slide. Please, if you want to exercise your dog in city parks, do it responsibly and don’t risk a ticket – go to http://www.seattle.gov/parks/offleash.asp for more information.

  • Bread

    Lazy dog owners are the reason responsible dog owners can’t take their dogs to parks or beaches. It is a crime that these wonderful animals are banned from doing what dogs do best…..run and swim freely.

  • Tiredofpoop

    Yea it gets old picking up after other folks pets, I mean really, would they want folks to use their front yard/sidewalk as their pets sandbox?

  • guest

    I was just complaining about this! This morning I had the pleasure of stepping in a “surprise” on my parking strip. Before realizing it, I got into my car to head to the pharmacy to buy cold meds. Fantastic way to start a day inconsiderate dog owners! I clean up after my own pet, why can’t you? Would love to know where they live so that I could leave random dirty diapers.

  • Poo’d off

    Your lucky if you don’t live in the Overlook neighborhood on 27th Place. There are so many lazy, rude dog owners – they cant even use the poo bags and garbage can supplied to them. The city could solve their debt problems handing out tickets here if they just paid attention.

  • snakeeyes12

    Try Paris, it’s the worst. Evidently they imposed a huge fine for not scooping but I noticed no improvement. I think here, people don’t do it in the winter. Too cold?

    • ericsmith

      Yes, it is terrible in Paris. They tried to implement a scoop type law but the French just don’t like the government telling us what to do (goes back to our revolution). We French are more concerned about programs that improve the health and welfare of the public than the government telling us what to do with our dogs, who are welcome in restaurants too, by the way.
      While Seattle people clean up after their dogs better than Parisians, not so out of King County. Where there are no leash laws, like in Anacortes for example, dogs roam free and poop anywhere and if you say anything the people come to their door with a gun. At least there are no guns in Paris.

  • brad majors

    This cuts close to home. About a month ago, my husband and I witnessed two German Shepard-sized dogs taking a poop in the park at the Locks. It was clear from the steaming pile they left that the dogs had intestinal issues and their owner simply walked away. So we confronted the man and asked him to clean up. He refused, we argued, he argued back and during all this, the nearby visitor center was ‘closed for lunch’. So we could not get an official to deal with this guy. As we walked back to Magnolia, we saw this guy again, this time walking on the locks.

    Rough description of this violator: 5′ 10″ to 11″ with almost shoulder-length reddish blond hair. Age: in his 30′s.

  • Guest

    Also bad: Raye street east of Catherine Blaine. In the grass, on the sidewalk, wherever. I shudder at the kids walking to school through that stuff.

  • unanimous

    Judging by my parking strip, most don’t….

  • MagNeighbor

    And putting your bagged dog poop in your neighbor’s garbage can, which is sitting out on garbage day not because the garbage can owner wants to save you the hassle of taking your poop home, is really not cool or neighborly.

  • Komo 4 news

    KOMO 4 News interested in hearing from you on this! Please call 206-404-4145

  • poopoopanic!

    I always pick up after my dog and am bothered by those who don’t. That said, if dog poop is such a horrendous toxin how did we survive before baggies and scoop laws when random dog poop was 50 times as abundant? I remember the 1970′s. And why isn’t Berlin a like a nuclear accident site? That place is practically iced with dog poop and people still seem mostly upright. I don’t like the random jerks and the poop they leave behind, but let’s not have a poop pathogen panic like the one that (falsely) spun itself up around the creek at Golden Gardens beach a few years ago …

    • ericsmith

      Actually I supported the dog park up on 28th but personally would never take my dog there. My vet advised me long ago that places like that are just breeding grounds for intestinal problems for dogs, even with people picking up. It may not be a terrible pathogen, but it is a definite source of worms for children and intestinal problems for other dogs who stiff the remnants. I go with the advice of my vet: it you use dog parks, your dog is likely to pick up something. If you track dog poop into your car from your parking strip, the smell will take a while to go awa. It may not be a panic, but it is definitely a pain.

  • poopoopanic!

    oh and very interesting that it’s illegal to not be carrying a bag – think they still write that ticket if you do have a cork in your pocket? :)

  • Bread

    No easy solution, is there???? May I suggest COMMON SENSE??? Another reason these laws are so ridiculous……common sense is gone. And yes, if anyone plans on creating more dog parks, do not use 28th as an example. A dog owner did not design that horrible place.

    • ericsmith

      I agree…and they worked so hard at raising the money, too. Small dogs are in the midst of the larger ones who see them as prey. Then the owners feel hurt. I had thought they were going to have a separate area for small dogs. I brought my dog there once to check it out but could see there wasn’t enough running space for my breed, either, even with my vet’s cautions. Too bad.

  • unanimous

    I’ve been thinking about this so much lately! I feel like I’ve noticed a distinct increase in the amount of poop in Magnolia within the past year. I have a large dog and I always pick up his poop.

    I have also noticed many examples in which the feces was left in the parking strip, literally in front of someone’s car; so that the car owner has a very high probability of stepping in it when he/she approaches the car. !!!!

    I find it utterly astounding that so many people are willing to be so blatantly inconsiderate. Are these adults? I would be more understanding of this kind of behavior from kids and teens with their underdeveloped frontal lobes and all (and even with this said, I know plenty of kids and teens who would never think of leaving their dogs’ poop). But adults? Seriously, how does someone manage to become a functioning adult with such a blatant disregard for other people?

    And I agree- if every dog owner acted responsibly- both in terms of cleaning up after their dogs AND training their dogs- our dogs would enjoy much more general freedom. We wouldn’t have to worry about kids backing into their poop on the playfields because it wouldn’t be there.

    It is a shame about the dog park. For owners of well-trained dogs who liked being able to spread out, roam around, sniff bushes, and don’t just want to be stuck in a big circle with a bunch of other dogs- it’s definitely a disappointment. But it is nice for folks with dogs who don’t have a strong recall to have a place to let their dogs off leash. And there is a small dog area, it’s in the NorthEast corner.

    I love the idea of posting descriptions of offenders! I wish I could catch one in the act!