Letter to the editor

Pick up your dog poop please

Editor:

I got a new puppy in October. Travelling with a dog means we get to check out places that are good to stop – places where the dog can be walked or go for a run off-leash and, yes, places where the dog can relieve itself. Poop baggies are my new pocket accoutrement. I pick up after my dog. Sometimes I’ve had to pack that little bag of poop a bit of a distance to the nearest garbage can, but hey, it’s what pet owners do for their pets. Or do they?

The walking and running off-leash is what dog parks are about. If you are lucky, there are other dogs there ready and willing to exercise your dog for you – running and playing and chasing together – such a great place to help socialize your dog.

Last week I took my dog to the dog park in Four Season’s park. To start with, it is impressive in its size. It’s a really large dog park that is grassy with trees and shrubs and has some cool agility course features such as a tunnel and weave poles. A free poop baggie dispenser is at the entrance gate along with a garbage can to dispose of them. What wasn’t so impressive was the amount of poop on the ground. Really – it was disgusting.

The bags are free; the garbage can is there, how hard is it to be a responsible dog owner and pick up? To encourage pick-up, someone has even tied bags to the fence here and there. The only reason I can see for the difference between Houston’s dog park and others I have visited is location. It is rather isolated when no activities are happening in the park so perhaps dog owners feel that if no one can see them, they don’t have to act conscientiously?

Perhaps they should think of their dog and the fact that another dog’s poop can potentially expose their dog to some very harmful diseases such as: Parvovirus; Roundworms; Hookworms; Giardiasis; Coccidiosis; and harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. With the exception of Parvovirus, all of these can also be transmitted to humans.

It just so happened, on the same evening I was checking out the dog park, the first soccer practice for U12 teams was being held on the fields. Prior to the kids arriving, coaches had to pick up dog poop from the fields where the kids would be playing and practicing. That’s just not fair. These are public fields maintained by your tax dollars. Dog owners – show you are responsible enough to have a dog and pick up after them. Don’t put your dog and our kids at risk.

Donna Stanyer