My Pet World: Dog Poop Bag Pushback
Cathy’s answer stirs the pot
In this edition of ‘My Pet World,’ animal expert Cathy M. Rosenthal responds to dog poop bag pushback. Two readers objected to her earlier response to abandoned bags of poop.
Dear Cathy: I’ve never written to a columnist before but felt compelled to write in response to your comment to Elise from West Hartford, Connecticut. She wrote complaining that people were picking up their dog poop and leaving the bags on the sidewalk or side of the road. You agreed with her saying that it was “lazy and irresponsible.”
Wow, that is not true. We take our two dogs for lengthy walks every day. When one of them does a poo, we clean it up and leave the bag on the side of the road so that we can pick it up on our way back home. We always go back and get it. Please give pet owners a break and give them the benefit of the doubt that the person who left the bag is neither lazy nor irresponsible. I’ve never read your column before and likely will not again.
– Bunnie, Enfield, Connecticut
Dear Bunnie: I hope you read this column at least one more time so you can see my response to your letter. I don’t mind when people disagree with me and am always willing to consider differing viewpoints.
While I am thrilled that you retrieve your dog’s poop bag, you must know there are people who will forget it or even leave it behind intentionally. There also is no way to look at a poop bag on the ground and know the dog owner’s intentions. So does a neighbor wait for someone to pick it up or pick it up and dispose of it, grumbling all the while about dog owners?
To maintain neighborhood harmony, dog owners need to carry their dog’s poop home. The best way to do this is to use one bag to pick up the poop and tie it into a knot, then drop it into another bag and knot that bag. This eliminates any odor and is the best way to be a good neighbor. I hope you will consider trying this.
More dog poop bag pushback
Dear Cathy: I just read the column about dog owners leaving full poop bags on sidewalks. I saw this a few years ago in West Hollywood. There was a lack of waste containers, and I just figured that without a convenient place to dispose of the poop bags, they were just left in place. I think the moral of the story is that we need to have convenient waste disposal available in our walkable cities.
– Timothy, Tucson, Arizona
Dear Timothy: In my old neighborhood, the homeowner’s association put trash containers and doggie poop bags every quarter mile. It definitely got people to pick up after their dogs, so your idea has some merit, especially in public spaces. When neighborhoods don’t have public waste containers, some dog owners will dispose of their dog’s poop bag in a neighbor’s trash can. While this may seem logical, please know there are people out there who will get extremely angry with you for using their trash can.
Dog owners, please take your dog’s poop bag with you and dispose of it at home.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist, and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories, and tips to email@example.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.
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