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Dogs Pooping Everywhere

Original post made by Frustrated Mom on Mar 10, 2008

How come dog owners take their dogs out to other people's properties to poop? Why can't they have them poop at home and then take them for a walk? It is one of the rudest things to do, if you think about it. We have a huge lawn and have had to pay thousands of dollars to install a fence because I have young children who like to play on our lawn occasionally. People think that if they pick up the poop, it is okay. Let me ask you, would you put your bare hand on the grass where you just picked up the poop? There are still remains even if the poop is picked up. It is A HAZARD to touch poop! And why do they allow dogs on school campuses? Our elementary school has dog poop on the lawn occasionally, and it is guaranteed to be stepped on by a child! Can't PAUSD create a rule of no dogs on campus?

Comments (18)

Posted by Not a dog owner, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2008 at 8:58 am

I agree with you I'm out walking a lot in South Palo Alto and I seem to step in dog poop at least once a day.

However, I do have sympathy for dog owners, there are not enough dog play areas set aside in parks. It is time to turn at least some of the underdeveloped area of Greer Park, closest to Bayshore, into a large size play area for dogs.




Posted by Dog Owner, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 10, 2008 at 9:23 am

Nobody likes dog poop. In my neighborhood, I do see poop from time to time along the sidewalks or in the grass (even my grass once in a while), but overall, I'd say people are pretty good about using leashes and scooping, whether it's dropped on the grass or in the brush.

Wouldn't it be great if you could get dogs to poop at home! Just imagine - in addition to Sit, Stay, and Fetch, we could have a Poop command, and no need to carry pooper scoopers and baggies on walks. My dogs poop at different times of day, but nothing brings out the urge to poop like a change of turf. Scooping the poop is the accepted and polite thing to do.

It's not just dogs that poop. Cats are legally allowed to roam. There are bird droppings too small to notice. Who knows what other wild critters are depositing. Your back yard may be safe from other people's dogs, but not from other animals, so I guess the best advice I can give is to have your kids wash hands frequently.


Posted by McNulty, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2008 at 9:45 am

I think there IS a no dogs on school campus rule, but then there are also signs asking people to "leash and scoop." So, I don't think there's any enforcement of the no dogs rule. I am a dog owner and I try to pick up 100% of my dog's droppings. I feel your pain, though. There are some dogs in my neighborhood who produce a huge volume of feces, and even though I see the neighbor picking some of it, up, multiple chunks are left behind, and I get really tired of stepping in it, or finding it on my lawn. Its irritating, but that's just par for the course when you live around other people. It gets my blood pressure up sometimes, but then I just try to breathe. Its hard though.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 10, 2008 at 9:49 am

The San Jose city code has the following provision:
"No person owning or having a right to control any animal shall permit such animal to do any of the following:
1. Defecate or urinate on private property other than the private property of the owner or the person having a right to control the animal;"...
We need this provision in Palo Alto's code.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:46 am

Dogs are no longer allowed on school property when school is in session, even on leash.

I am not sure how to prevent them going on campus evenings and weekends when there is no-one about.

Dogs, like humans, get the urge to poop at different times. But, it is quite common for dogs to want to poop while exercising (humans are often the same). A run around the backyard (if the dogowner has one) may help the dog to urge to poop at home, but I know of no other way.

Dogs, urinate to mark territory. Other animals do the same. It is possible to buy a spray from pet shops that discourage animals from urinating on your property as it gives them the scent of another animal's territory.

When walking dogs, it is possible to make them poop in the gutter, scoop the mess and then carry water bottle to flush the area. I have seen dog owners scoop, but I have never seen them flush the area. Perhaps we could include this in the ordnance.


Posted by cat owner, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:58 am

Someone mentioned cats. Well, some of us have indoor cats, as recommended by many veterinarians, and we deal with a litter box. However, OTHER peoples' cat(s) come in and wreck my garden with digging/cat poop. So be aware that not all cat owners are recklessly letting their cats roam.
Dog poop is a periodic problem; it is incredibly rude and I see some owners stop and linger near my nice lawn as it makes a nice bathroom for their huge dogs.


Posted by Frustrated Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:21 am

Re: McNulty comment, Dogs are allowed on campus at Duveneck. They are not allowed at Walter Hays. I am not sure about other elementary schools. I think Palo Verde allows them too.

Re: Dog Owner in Fairmeadow area, if dogs poop at different times, how come their owners walk them about the same times each day?

Re: R Wray, that SJ city code is wonderful! Bet no one follows it though..?

Re: Not a Dog Owner, the issue is not that dogs need a play area. People deliberately walk their dogs so that they will poop on someone else's property. You think people would drive their dogs to dog parks several times per day just for them to poop?


Posted by Not a dog owner, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:29 am

R. Wray says: . Defecate or urinate on private property other than the private property of the owner or the person having a right to control the animal;"...

We need this provision in Palo Alto's code.

I agree, but the problem is; how do you enforce such a code?

Our City Council is reluctant to introduce new codes that can't be enforced. The Finance Committee will be recommending a cut in the Police budget this year. The Police can't enforce such a code without money to hire a more code enforcement officers.




Posted by Parent, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:40 am

Dogs are not allowed at Palo Verde while school is in session. There are signs about scooping and pooping for outside school hours.

People walk their dogs at the time of day it suits them, not their dogs. I have never seen a dog able to indicate to its owner that it is time to poop apart from instantaneously, but a dog can be trained to be asked to be let out to urinate.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:42 am

The obvious solution is to collect all the dog and cat poop and convert it to methane. There is an alternative solution from Korea, but I doubt it would sell in PA.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Under the present Palo Alto city code, dog owners have a legal right to use your property. The property owner is legally defenseless. Under the San Jose code he has a legal right to at least shame the dog owner into obeying the law. As it stands now in Palo Alto, the dog owner is morally righteous and claims he is doing you a favor by supplying some nitrogen to your lawn and plants.
It would be a giant moral step to change the law to protect property rights, even though the law won't be enforced. There are many provisions in the city code that are rarely enforced.


Posted by poop in your own yard, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2008 at 1:53 pm

"A run around the backyard (if the dogowner has one) may help the dog to urge to poop at home, but I know of no other way."
How about this: walk the dog down the street a few houses and back again to poop in your own yard. Then start your walk again, this time for exercise.
Saying a law is difficult to enforce is a terrible reason not to have it. It IS possible to enforce that law - put a camera up on your property if the problem is severe enough or attracts repeat offenders that don't respond to verbal requests to obey the law.


Posted by Dog Owner, a resident of University South
on Mar 10, 2008 at 2:44 pm

As as dog owner, I scoop evertime my dogs go! No matter where! Unfortunately, I cannot afford the luxury of owning a home with a yard in Palo Alto - so what's a person to do?

I have trained and encourage my dogs to use pads in the gargage - but it's not as that easy...

I think as long as owners are responsible for picking up - that's all we can ask!


Posted by Flagger, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm

I'm just glad I live on a flag lot. No front yard to keep up for the neighbors, or for dogs to use as a place to poop.

When I walk my dog and he starts to make the move towards moving his bowels, I make him go in the gutter. I'm aware of the problem caused by incomplete poop pickup, and don't want to be part of it.


Posted by Dog Owner Too, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm


So, just a small dog poop story - actually a big dog poop story. When my very nice next door neighbors left for a six month trip, they rented their home to a new professor and his wife. They were relocating from the east coast and perhaps they had lived in an area with large open backyards. The couple had a large dog - a golden retriever type. Shortly after their arrival, I started finding HUGE poops on my lawn. Generally, in my neighorhood, folks are pretty responsible for picking up after their dogs, so I couldn't believe this was happening. Assuming my new neighbors couldn't possibly be the type to walk their dog and not pick up after them, I didn't think it could be their dog. I thought it was probably a new evening dog walker whose dog would poop under the cloak of darkness. I got so frustrated with the daily gift left on my lawn I was ready to set up a surveillance camera to try and catch the dog, and their owner, in the act.

However, one morning I heard the renting wife open up the front door and out ran their dog - he went right through the hedge to my lawn and started assuming the position. I chased him off and I guess he moved on to another lawn. Apparently, this is what the wife did every morning - just open up the door, let the dog out and wait for him to come back to the house. Perhaps in their previous home the dog would stay in their yard - but that wasn't what the he was doing now.

Luckily, the nice neighbors came back and the professor and his wife moved on. I told my neighbors about the dog and they apologized and said I should have told them about it. I said that it was water, or poop, under the bridge, but I did asked them to promise that if they rent their house to folks with a dog again, to be sure that the renters are up to speed on appropriate dog & dog owner behavior.


Posted by AmazingButTrue, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Walter_E_Wallis:
"There is an alternative solution from Korea, but I doubt it would sell in PA."

Wow, good old Walt ain't a dog/animal lover - who would have guessed that one?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2008 at 4:22 am

I ate dog only once, and it was served in Chipyongni by the BFONU, the French unit in Korea. Read Heinlein's lists of things a real man should be able to do.


Posted by I love dogs, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 11, 2008 at 7:40 am

I watch a man who lives at 3642 South Court take his dog out at 6am, they run off leash over to JLS to the atheletic field by the Mitchell park dog run and Herbert Hoover, he doesn't even watch the dog, have a leash, or pick-up bags. He runs around, the doge runs around, it takes a poop in the middle of the atheletic field, and they run back home. I have plenty of other stories, so does everyone else. Just like poor driving while on the phone; more stories of an irresponsible society. Our community & civilization going down the tubes. All hail $4 a gallon gas.


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