Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Dog Poop Problem

I'm so glad that I'm on my community's email list. I mean, usually the posts have no relevance to me, but every once in a while, something entertaining comes out. Enter Rob (not his real name).

Rob: I live at [address] and would like to report some serious misbehavior by unknown pet owner(s). On Tuesdays and Fridays mornings I have to leave the big blue trash can outside my house for the trash to be collected. By the time I arrive from work in the evenings of those days, some unknown pet owner(s) have dropped huge bags of pet feces (poop)* inside my trash can. The material is highly toxic and carries lots of diseases. I cannot even move the blue trash can back inside my garage because the smell is unbearable and the material can contaminate my whole family.

I would be grateful to hear your suggestions on how to handle this situation.

In advance, many thanks.

* Sean's note: Was it really necessary to add poop in parentheses? I think we understand.

Now the replies:

P: Wow that is very disgusting. I will start talking to other neighbors and see if it happened to any of them as well? Have they seem who might be doing this? I will also tape a note in your trash can with big RED letters saying "Do NOT dump your dog poop on my trash can. Thank you!!"

C: Get a lock for your can.

Sean's note: Um, if you lock your trash can, how can the trash people take your trash? Think this through, C!

Rob: Many thanks for the advice. The lock would not work in my case as the people throw these things inside my trash can exactly during the time I am away from home—i.e. between the time I place the can outside for the trash collection and the time I arrive home from work. So if I lock the can the trash collector would not be able to open in.

Sean's note: We're on the wavelength here, Rob.

S: I would check to see if this is illegal in Fairfax County. I think it might be.

Sean's note: Are we really going to get the police involved here?

The only thing you can really do is install cameras, and catch the person(s) in the act. If it is illegal in Fairfax, then you can file a complaint. However, you have to do some thinking if this is a major issue for you because it will take time, money, and energy to do all of this.

Other things you might consider is contacting whoever writes the [community] newsletter and seeing if he/she can write a quick article on not throwing your poop bags in neighbors' trash cans. It might be the person(s) think he/she is oblivious that this is an issue. Or post it on NextDoor.

Sorry this is happening.

P: I will keep knocking doors, interviewing your next door neighbors, anyone you see around your house surroundings. I'm sure someone must have seen something or know who the pet owners on your street are. Also definitely post it on Nextdoor, there are way more people who read messages there than here on email.

Hmmm. I'm starting to think this is just a big advertisement to get people to use Nextdoor!

K: We have a ring doorbell which has a camera and it has been great for seeing what is going on. It videoed a guy going around trying to get into peoples cars at 2 AM. You may want to invest in one and then put your trashcan in view of the doorbell.

This email was sponsored by Ring doorbell. WHAT?

P2: You might want to ask a neighbor to pull the cans in off the street and place them by your garage door. I am pretty sure that the dog walker will not take the time to walk up your driveway, but will instead find another can. We are a friendly sort of people here in the [neighborhood] and we like to take care of each other. I am sure if you explain the problem to one of your neighbors who is home during the day, they would be willing to pull your can in at the same time they pull theirs in.

C: I like the newsletter idea. :)

The smiley face will solve everything. Actually, I really want to see this portion of the newsletter.
Item #1: The pool opens on Memorial Day weekend. Here are the hours.
Item #2: Community sidewalk repair update.
Item #3: Don't put dog waste in other people's garbage cans.

Rob: Many thanks. We are indeed friendly neighbors—I have lived [here] for almost 7 years and only now I am experiencing this. My guess is that probably someone hired to be a pet walker is doing this. The question is how to deliver the message to that person or to the pet owner as I am not sure whether they live in our community or not. If there is a newsgroup for pet owners, would you mind to kindly forward my message to that group?

For now I will go with P’s suggestion—I will place a sign in the can with big red letters asking pet walkers not to do it. I hope this will work.

Many thanks to all for your courtesy and attention!

At this point, I think Rob is done. He aired his grievance and feels like people are aware of the situation. But someone can't leave it at that. We need one more reply.

B: Why not try the sandwich signs when not in use.
Just write that the neighborhood watch is looking for the person who is putting the dog poop in private trash cans!

B isn't going far enough. We need neon signs like they have outside Vegas casinos. Get on this, B!

If there are more posts on this topic, I'm happy to share them with you.

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