What are we going to do about winter poo?

It seems that some in our community aren’t picking up after their dogs.

  • ‘it’s biodegradable’
  • ‘it’s really small’
  • ‘the rabbits and coyotes leave their poo, why can’t we?’
  • ‘ewww’
  • ‘nobody will notice’

… but that’s not going to cut it in an urban environment, and in the winter, particularly, ‘orphan dog poo’ becomes a real nuisance and a flash point for resistance to coexistence with dogs in the South Loop.

What are we going to do about it?

Contribute your ideas in Comments.

19 Responses to “What are we going to do about winter poo?”

  1. 1 Kate
    February 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I often see people let their dogs off the leash to run where it’s clearly noted that dogs are required to be leashed (especially in Cotton Tail Park). I see the dogs poop off in a corner or out of clear view, and the owners do not look around to find that pile of poop. Why don’t they follow the rules and keep the dogs leashed and then the poop is easy to find and clean up? Also, for those of us with dogs with aggression issues, it’s not “dog-friendly” to let your dogs go run in areas that are not designated to be off leash. Let your dog enjoy the dog friendly areas so that everyone can enjoy the parks without having to turn around when a dog is running around freely.

  2. 2 Anthill521
    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 am

    See here’s the deal. 1,000 people can pick up their dogs’ poo (and they do) EVERY time. And no one notices. Then one person comes along and doesn’t, and it’s immediately obvious. We live in a large neighborhood, a neighborhood that is a better place because people are out with their dogs.

    If you see stray poo, pick it up. Voila. The problem is solved.

    Yes, there are still problem people who are irresponsible, and they should do better, and yada yada. We live in the city. There always will be. Is it right? No. But it is.

    Do something positive about all the issues related to responsible pet ownership. Join the South Loop Dog PAC and work to get more dog bag dispensers installed around the neighborhood, or get more off-leash dog-friendly areas established, or bring in educational speakers, or ……

    The DogPAC is an organization with the power to get some things done, but not unless it has members and money. Do your part.

  3. 3 Christine Jones
    February 25, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Really? This is totally insane. Who has the time to take pictures of dog shit?

  4. February 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for the comments you all. Christine, it only takes a minute – there’s an App for that. Is it nuts? Yeah, sure, but it’s more interesting than just complaining all the time – that’s pretty much guaranteed to do nothing. The goal here is to somehow come up with something that can help make a change – a transition from medieval to modern, let’s say, from ‘sh*t bucket out the window’ to ‘indoor plumbing’. Most of us are modern dog people, but there are relics who don’t care or who don’t get it, and I don’t want to clean up after their mess any more than you do. Who are these people leaving poo behind, why do they think it’s ok, and how do we make that kind of behavior no more acceptable than using the sidewalk to replace your toilet? It’s not ok, people notice, and South Poop takes pictures. We have to keep in mind that ‘picking up poo’ is a relatively recent phenomena – starting in the ‘70’s in New York City, if I recall correctly – and also that while it’s an important issue in urban areas, it really doesn’t matter out in the countryside. So, in a sense we’re on the cusp of a transition – old & new, city & country. Maybe it’s time to be grownups and leave behind coded phrases like ‘Curb Your Dog’. Maybe it’s time to embrace the fact that having a dog in the city means picking up poo.

  5. 5 Z.E.
    March 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Here’s what I’m doing about it — I have accepted a personal charge to become the ‘Poo Fairy.’ Whenever I’m using a bag, and there’s still room in it, I pick up a pile of what someone else left behind. And believe me, this stuff is usually bigger and nastier than the stuff my 20 lb pooch did. I struggled with this for awhile, believing in personal responsibility, but then accepted the obvious:

    Some people will just not do the right thing, no matter what
    I can’t stand seeing all the poop everywhere
    I don’t like getting nasty, warning letters from the condo board about dogs doing their business near the building–these folks make responsible dog owners look bad.
    It amounts to a little big of karma-building for myself

    If I happen to catch an offender, I will have no problem educating them about personal responsibility. Until that day, I will do what I can to tidy up my little corner of the South Loop.

    • March 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      Z.E., I know there are a number of people who are willing to be Poo Fairies in the neighborhood. Thanks to you for the great term! I’m not one of them, though – I had a hard enough time learning to pick up my own dog’s poo. 🙂 As Anthill pointed out, if everyone were a Poo Fairy, there would be no problem. But if all dog owners accepted that owning a dog means picking up poo, there wouldn’t be a problem either…

    • December 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Interesting that in England, they try to say that Poo Fairies don’t exist!). We believe that there are may be more poo fairies than poo cowards in the South Loop. The argument can be made, and we’ll follow up about this in a future post.

  6. 8 LMB
    March 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    This blog is needed and not just in the South Loop. I live in Lincoln Park, with a dog that I clean up after, even if it means having to pick up a ratty piece of newspaper when the dog surprises me with an encore. The sidewalks around here are filthy, especially at this time of year. Can’t the police ticket lazy dog walkers instead of handing out tickets to drivers who are on their way from the parking-meter machine with receipt in hand to post on their dashboard? There should be more patrolling of poop-laden sidewalks, where residents obviously run out in their slippers, remote still in hand, and let the dog poop in front of their buildings/homes. You were inspired enough to create this blog; you should make some printable stickers or cards that could be handed out to lazy dog owners that are caught leaving a mess behind.

    • March 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Ha, we’ve been playing with the idea of making stickers, cards, or flags, but that’s something for the future – South Poop has only been around for two months! I do know that the South Loop Dog PAC has been handing out cards and flyers with ‘responsible dog ownership’ guidelines over the last several years. I think it’s open for discussion, though, whether phrases like ‘Scoop the Poop’ and ‘Stream on the Green’ are effective, or reach the right people. But if you support that effort, you can join them (or your local dog park group). And you can complain to your Alderman, but my guess is that the police have more serious things to deal with.

    • December 12, 2010 at 9:56 am

      We have plans to print up South Poop poo flags now that winter is here again. As for handing out cards? Well, we gotta find the miscreants in the act, and they don’t seem to be doing it in broad daylight.

  7. 11 Fortitude1913
    March 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for this website! This is much needed, as the neighborhood looks a mess now that the snow is melting/has melted. We can’t even get folks to pick up their poop in an enclosed area, like Grant Bark Park, it’s going to take a lot of peer pressure and education to encourage people to pick it up in common areas like the streets and in the parks. But I’m glad this site is here, and that we can encourage our fellow dog owners to “pick it up!”

    I have *lots* of pics to send you, too!

    • March 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks for the support! We’re still working on how to allow people to become contributors so that they can submit their own posts and pics (since this is a WordPress.com, not an independent site). Keep an eye out for an update sometime in the next month or so.

  8. March 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Are dogs even allowed in Printers Row Park or is it just the circular patch of grass that is off limits?

  9. 15 Slooper
    March 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    So glad to see this blog, having recently become a 1st time dog owner in the S. Loop…really disappointed in other dog owners who let their dogs crap on other condo properties (instead of their own) and then leave it. This is really egregious behavior and certainly not one-off “I forgot my bag” occurrences considering certain areas (16th and Michigan) have piles of dog crap everywhere. Clearly people think it is their dog’s personal toilet, when in fact it is private property. The same is true for public parks, but some people are so lazy they cannot even make it as far a park, so they use private property. I used to think the worst of dog owners in the neighborhood until I became one myself and realized there are a few bad apples who are repeat offenders who are also incredibly self absorbed and LAZY. It is not as if there aren’t any Reader or Red Eye papers around (which I myself have used in a pinch). I just want to catch one of these jackxsses one day, one time. . . and unleash my fury.

    • December 11, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      I guess… or train them to hop up on the toilet. The funny thing is how dogs can be so particular about where they go! And, their favorite place changes with time – She used to want to go poo by the pine trees, now she’ll only go poo on the patch of grass on the parkway! Last winter it was only along ‘poo alley’!

  10. 18 Joshua
    April 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I live on 16th between Indiana and prairie and dog poop is a problem. I have called poop911 a couple times they do a pretty good job. It’s like paying someone to clean your house well worth it. I seen there trucks over here that’s where I got the idea.

    • December 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Interesting idea about Poop911. There’s a franchise in the area, and it looks like they offer ‘HOA, Apartment & Neighborhood’ ‘Commercial Pooper Scooper’ services. A quick punch-in on their services web form gives you something on the order of $25/visit, for weekly visits. I wonder if that would work for a neighborhood, and how much it would end up really costing.

      On the other hand, long term, having a policy of ‘don’t worry, leave your crap behind, we’ll clean up after you’ can only come to a bad end. It’s already the thinking that the poo cowards that live around us must use – “who cares”, “somebody will clean up”, “it’ll go away”. Better to move towards personal and collective responsibility IMHO.

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