After years without any dog waste issues, poop was now a neighborhood problem. Or was it?

We live in a condo community with many retired people. There are a few families with smaller children and many folks with visiting grandchildren. Older, downsized adults, living in smaller homes, now enjoy their extended families, of cats and dogs. pexels-photo-573293.jpegOur neighborhood has gardeners who maintain the frontage of our condos and the surrounding grounds. There are green, grassy areas available for residents use as well. However, we have strict association rules. One, which is to pick up after your animals.

Recently, I noticed several large dog poops on the grass, in front of our condo.

They had been smashed into the grass by the gardeners, while mowing. Unfortunately, located right next to my car. My daughter and I, walking to her car, across our grass, nearly stepped in the mess. I cleaned it up, noticing it had started to kill the grass, as I scraped it from the dirt and roots. These deposits were left again and again, for several days. Not having this issue before, I began to watch and ask around. We had noticed a new resident with a large Golden Retriever, walking around our street and parking area. The only large neighborhood dogs we had at the time, were a German Shepherd and 3 Greyhounds. This new culprit was a large dog with big poops. Since I was now picking up these messes, I noticed the hair attached was indeed, always light. Let’s say blond, the color of a Golden Retriever.

So, by now, I’m more than just irritated.

I carefully, placed the day’s poop deposit in a plastic baggie, with the dog’s hair visible. Next, I taped it to our lamppost, next to the sidewalk, where everyone walked and close to the dog’s favorite area. A note stating, PLEASE PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG, was attached above. At this point I will add, that after closer inspection of our lawn, I spied a couple of smaller poops, from a much smaller dog. So I added another baggie on the lamppost! Gross. I called our association to inform them of the problem. A notice was sent out as a reminder in our newsletter. They also wanted to send out a warning letter to our new neighbor. Not wanting to cause any issues, I declined. On day 2, of the lamppost display, I viewed our new resident in front of our condo, picking up his dog’s feces. Thrilled as I was, but still annoyed, I went out to our nearby mailbox, in hopes of  meeting this guy. Commenting on his being such a considerate person, by picking up after his dog, I added my distress of what had been happening. Plus the fact, that we had not had the problem before. He then proudly held up his green poop bag, stating how he was not the culprit.

The baggies were on the post for 4 days.

Disgusting as it was, to view, no more poop appeared! That was, until I took down the bags. The next day, bingo! More poop, everyday, for another week! I suspected I had hit a nerve, upsetting this guy. All I wanted was for a responsible owner to clean up their messes, without creating any ill feelings of animosity or revenge. Oh, well.

Frustrated, I searched the internet for advice.

Searching dog poop, was popular, but not too helpful. There are several mean-spirited suggestions. Many solutions causing pain or suffering to the animal. That’s NOT what I’m about, being an animal lover. I’ve helped and rescued many different animals and don’t intend to cause unnecessary harm to any, ever.

The problem lies with the owner, showing lack of decent, sanitary consideration.

Children play on the grass. Groups have gatherings or picnics. Dog feces spread decease that can infect other dogs. The scent lures other animals to mark their territories, thus adding to the problem and killing the grass.

Our plan.

By talking with local dog walkers, much was learned. Our new resident, had often been seen with his dog and without any visible doggie bags. He walked his dog regularly, a few times daily. Apparently, he’s teaching at our high school, and must be at school by 8 am. Therefore his dog needs to go out early, every morning. Soooo, early the next, dewy morning, a neighbor and I followed large, wet paw prints from the grass onto the sidewalk, that led from the morning poop, back to our suspect’s condo. His condo was 4 doors from us. Just about the right walking distance and timing for a bowel movement. My neighbor suggested, since she knew of this teacher from the school district, she would ask him to join our “neighborhood poop watch,” to help locate the dog owner responsible for messes in our neighborhood. Yet another neighbor offered to give him a couple of new, Basics Dog Poop Bags, he’d just purchased for his own dogs. No one wanted to antagonize our new resident. No accusations were expressed. Just some friendly, concerned neighbors, joined together for a community cause and solution.

Something seems to have worked, for now. We are going on 3 weeks, and poop free! Ahh, but not so fast.

Violator is back again, just every other day, now.  I tried sprinkling a large Costco canister of black pepper. Nope. I should have saved it for cooking. After a little more observation, I noticed how many large and small canines were relieving themselves at the streetlight, in our front lawn. This was their local “watering hole.” Thus, leaving their scents to mark our front lawn, as their territories.

So, a little more research on Amazon, led me to plan “C.” This really worked well.

I got a gallon container of an oil-based animal, deterrent, to spray with your own sprayer. It stays on the grass after sprinklers or light rain. The scent and taste, most animals dislike, but it’s not harmful. It stays on their furry feet and is not tasty. You need to re-apply after a week or so. The oily stain is still visible on the cement base of the light, but I noticed a dog sniffing around, so I’ll apply a second time. It worked for a month.

Problem solved!

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