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Is dealing with the "Dog Matter" barking up the wrong tree?

Original post made on Nov 13, 2009

Every decade or so, the "Dog Matter" pops up in Palo Alto -- no relation to the little piles rarely seen in these post-PooperScooper days.

Read the full guest opinion here Web Link posted Friday, November 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (36)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Paul, I am not a dog owner, but I grew up with dogs and have family members with dogs. As a result I realise the absurdity of what is happening here for dog owners. Other communities seem to have rules that are abided by because they make sense and are fair to all. It is time we became tolerant of dog owners who are, after all, part of our community too.

My own pet peeve is leashes that are extremely long and get tied up around strollers and trees in our park, but that is just me.

I wish you well on this one.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2009 at 6:45 pm


What is wrong with opening up Byxbee Park to dogs off leash? There is a lot of open land there, and only a few hikers. After all, it is just an old dump site. Your beagle would love chasing a few jack rabbits!

Posted by JW
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 14, 2009 at 12:11 am


Since I was unfortunately attacked and bitten by a large dog at the end of a long leash on the path from Mitchell Park to Charleston Road I am very much in favor of maintaining Palo Alto's leash law.

I know that PA has a leash law but I wonder what the defenition of a leash is? This dog owner had one of those long extended leaches and was certainly not in control of her dog. Are those long extended leashes permissable in our City with its leash law?

Posted by Valerie
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 14, 2009 at 4:40 am

I applaud your article. I really do feel terrible if someone has had a bad experiencde with dogs, but as with anything, individuals need to be responsible. Life in the Old Days used to be so simple. Now there are laws for this, and laws for that. We need to keep things in perspective, and not run our cities like a jail sentence. There are so many more responsible dog owners, and well behaved dogs to be considered.

The joy I receive from my hour at a dog park is priceless. For that one hour, I forget all my problems and things that cause me stress. It is evident in everyone's smiles that I am not the only one. Yes, the dogs get exercise, become better canine citizens, bark less etc, but what it does for human beings is beyond description. You just have to experience it.

I belong to a group of people that meet daily with our dogs. I never would have met such wonderful "friends" if it weren't for the park. The ages of people in our group range from toddler to senior. I love when a ten year old considers me one his closest friends. Wow. What a mature stable person he will turn out to be.

Thank you for being open minded and fair. I hope there are many more positive and open minded people attending this meeting than people who only think of themselves.

Posted by Theresa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

I happened upon a local dog gathering last February, when my chocolate lab puppy was 8 months old. I've lived in the area for over 30 years, but thanks to hanging around with a group of funny dogs and wonderful people, feel more connected to my neighborhood than ever. Also thanks to the dog group, my college-age daughter got a summer job with one of the other humans.

Now that my kids are older, I've enjoyed meeting the younger members of our community. We all miss one of the group's organizers, who is now off at college preparing to make the world a better place. All the other kids are so much fun to be around. The adults get to share what's going on with work and family, and help one another out.

And of course it's delightful to see the dogs greet one another as we arrive. We leave the grounds cleaner than when we got there because we tidy up after folks who are not part of our group.

Having a set time to meet that is known to the community would be a huge benefit. Those who don't want to be around off-leash dogs, for whatever reason, can choose to stay away for those periods of time.

I am troubled when a person has one bad experience with a dog and then takes that experience to try to cage all dogs, even well-behaved ones. JW was bitten by a dog on a leash and still thinks a leash law would have been a protection? I was attacked by a dog belonging to a friend in his own yard, which resulted in three reconstructive surgeries, but don't see that one dog as a representative of all the canines in the world.

All of the current Palo Alto "dog runs" are on the south side of Oregon/Page Mill. There is nothing we can walk our dogs to on the north side of town. It would be great to have some times set aside, say 7-9AM and 4-6PM, at a local park for off-leash dog romping.

Well-socialized dogs and happy people are the direct result of our frequent gatherings.

Posted by It's not the dog, it's the owner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Opening dog runs would be a good idea. However, lazy owners will still walk their dogs in the neighborhoods, school grounds, and parks and use them all as toilets for their dogs.

Letting dogs leave poop on school grounds is dangerous and Palo Alto should outlaw dogs on school property. Our children have to run, lie, sit on the lawns during school for P.E. When dog owners don't pick up the poop, it is a disaster. My toddler fell down and his hand went straight into a fresh poop, kids have ruined shoes from poop. Even when owners pick up the poop, there is residue that is e-coli dangerous for everyone who touches that area of grass. I guess I am talking to a wall because the School Board doesn't have the guts to enact a prohibition on dogs on PAUSD campuses.

Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:55 am

Can one shoe/dog poop interaction really ruin a pair of shoes (appropriate for a kid to wear to school)? Has there ever been a documented case of a kid getting ill from E coli from dog poop contamination? I am sure many hospital workers/professionals and teachers own dogs (and cats and birds and reptiles and hamsters). Might not one of them accidentally step in something in their lawn on the way to school? Might not a cyclist run over a squirrel, later touch the bike tire and bring in Bubonic Plauge? What about parent dog owners accidentally stepping in dog poop as they are leaving their house, then walking on the school lawn. The horrors abound!

How can society protect itself from all the above dangers?

Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

A Noun Ea Mus, I totally agree with you that people overreact to this kind of thing. No one is going to get sick from this. BUT, that being said, I don't want my kids hand in your dogs poop. Clean it up. I don't want my shoes in it either. Will it kill me or my kid? No, but it's disgusting. And it's disrespectful. And, mostly just gross.

Dogs should be on short, short leashes if walked in areas like downtown where there is many pedrestrians. And let to roam a bit more in less populated areas. Owners should be responsible enough to know that not everyone loves their dogs. They should also be responsible enough to know that the grass in King Plaza isn't a doggie toilet.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

I love dog parks and take my little dog to them often. It is a treat to watch her interact with other dogs, and I love interacting with the dog people at the park.

HOWEVER, please do not change any leash laws.

I have been knocked to the ground 3 times by unleashed dogs (both friendly and aggressive) in the parking lot next to the dog park, and twice on my own street.

I am 65 and have a disability -- I do not fall without injury.

There is a HUGE liability issue here.
Please keep the leash law.

Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

Leash laws are good for people and dogs. I was driving downtown on Hamilton when a runner cut through traffic. About 3 yards behind her was her dog -- no leash. While it was easy to spot the runner, the dog was pretty much invisible to cars. Luckily, he made it safely across the street.

Unfortunately, all the laws in the world won't prevent irresponsible people from breaking them.

Posted by CC
a resident of University South
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:45 am

I am in absolute favor of allowing dog parks/runs as long as they are secured and the dogs are not allowed out of the defined area. People then have the choice to participate or not.

I have 2 small dogs, who were almost killed by a neighbors dog who got out. I have had 8-9 dogs off leash come after us when walking in Palo Alto. I now carry pepper spray and will not hesitate to use it if an off leash dog comes after us.

What I am not in favor of: taking away the leash law

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:08 am

I'm a dog lover as opposed to a dog owner (cats require less training), and totally support the idea of more space/time share opportunities for socializing dogs in the parks of Palo Alto.

I have joined friends (both two and four-footed) at the park dog runs and thoroughly enjoyed myself in their company. If dogs are given more time and freedom to be active off-leash, they are better citizens of the community.

Certainly in such designated spaces the leash law needs to reflect current circumstances. Leashes can be removed once the dogs and their owners are inside these designated spaces. Shorter leashes might well be designated in heavily populated areas.

As a lover of Foothills Park, allowing dogs to be there on leash during the week suggests that they certainly should be permitted on the weekends as well. It's not like wild animals only come out on the weekends when the park is likely to be more populated.

The fact is most people work during the week and deserve to enjoy their families (dogs included) on the weekend as long as they honor leash laws.

Posted by Not a dog lover
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 16, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Addison School is used as an off leash dog park EVERY DAY. The dogs ruin the grass and poop all over the place. Most owners are responsible but some are not. And as a previous writer expressed, the residue of the poop is left behind. My child has stepped in it. It's gross. Dogs do not belong in school yards. The principal has no backing on this. There are not enough dog parks, and Stanford will not allow dogs up at the Dish. People want large dogs in small suburban yards and it doesn't really work. So they use school yards for dog exercise. The principal has been able to get the dog owners to keep their dogs outside the school fence until school is over. That is all he is willing to do. The problem is not going to go away, but every day when I see the wrecked lawn, and the dog poop, I'm mad.

Posted by jb
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Dear Elizabeth,

You are dead wrong when you say, "If dogs are given more time and freedom to be active off-leash, they are better citizens of the community." I grew up when dogs were routinely kept off leash and I know that their pack instinct kicks in in no time. People have no idea what their dogs do off leash on their own.

Some children were playing with their dog off leash at a local school yard and the two dogs escaped. They came down my street, found my elderly cat sunning herself, and took off after her. When they caught her, they killed her, just a few vigorous shakes broke her neck, and when she quit "playing" so did they. The animal control officer told me to take the owners to court if I found them. He tended to about 200 complaints a year (PA animal control also had the contract for Los Altos at the time) of cats killed by dogsā€”nice doggies who just wanted to play.

As to my own dog during childhood. There was the night a man came to see my father. "If I catch your dog killin' my chickens again I'm goin' to shoot him, and don't you forget it!" But Tippie was a nice dog, he wouldn't hurt a flea. And he took good care of the little kids too. They were part of his pack and he took after anyone who appeared to be menacing them. But we had no idea about Tippie's after hour activities. He was being canine in all senses of the word and he was a wonderful dog.

Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Anon, I also don't want my dog's poop to end up on your kids hands! Nor anyone else's, nor their feet, etc. Now for something totally gross...what about when the dog has diarrhea on the concrete? Is there some product that could be'd clean up as best you could and then spray this foam on the gooey residue. It would foam up into a solid mass easily removable. (cooler yet would be it forming some mini napalm which could be ignited but more problems there). My dogs have had a penchant for going in the biggest ivy stands in the curbing, making poop retrieval akin to a online game quest.

I think what happens in "Dog Parks"--be they designated as such or "ad lib" as described above---is that virtually all the human attendees strive to pick up the dog poop. But they get to socializing and a quick doggee dump gets missed. I think one solution would be for everyone to also take it upon themselves to do a "duty patrol" before leaving.

What is meant by "repealing the leash law"? Does it refers to the unofficial ad lib dog park areas and times? I think the solution would be to find some large space and make it official (Bixbee Park, or fence off part of Eleanor Pardee Park between grass and community garden, other suggestions?). Having designated dog parks serves a valuable community function in many ways. Enough of the population owns dogs to justify this effort and expense.

As regards the retractable leashes....I think a maximum urban limit should apply. Walking on a city block with it extended all the way is hardly having your dog under control. Also they can rip off the fingers of the human attached to them.

Dogs, like people, are un-predictable. Years ago we had a great Samoyed dog when I was young. It would let neighborhood cats lay on top of it and no problem. Friendly dog to all two and four legged. One day I caught a wild cat in a trap and stupidly bought it back home to show off.....I was told by my parents to release the cat...and we couldn't keep the Samoyed from killing it. The metamorphosis was amazing.

Posted by Jenny
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I agree with Not a dog lover. I walk my kids to school through Mitchell Park. There is always a pile of dog poop somewhere along the side of the path. My kids are 5 and 10, and it's totally gross and infuriating to need to stop and scrape off the kid's shoes with a twig before they enter the school yard (and bring the poop onto the red top or into the classroom). Based on my experience, I don't have faith that every dog owner really cares enough to take the time to pick up their dog's poop so that innocent people won't step in it. Keep the dogs in an enclosed space and let the dog owners figure out how to keep dog poop off their own shoes. I'm also for stricter enforcement of leash laws and poop pick-up laws.

Posted by Theresa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I know that when my off-leash doggie group gathers that we are all keeping an eye on each other's dogs. One dog goes into a squat and 5 people say, "Oh, your dog is pooping. Do you have a bag? I have extras." So if there's any poop left over after a group visited a park or school, it's not from one of our dogs.

Our unofficial and apparently extremely illegal group has asked people to leave when their dogs were overly aggressive or destructive. The areas that may appear "torn up" by the dogs happen to get walked on by several hundred schoolkids every day, as well as teachers, parents, and other school staff. Blaming it all on the dogs is really an over-reaction.

There seem to be people who will demonize dogs and blame them for all of society's ills. There are others who think dogs can do no wrong. The truth is somewhere in between.

Posted by Deep Throat
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

All three Palo Alto enclosed dog runs are in south Palo Alto.

Just try designating a park north of Oregon Expressway for the next enclosed dog run and you will find out that the dog owners in that part of town who are advocating for more such places will suddenly decide they don't want one if it's in their neighborhood.

Dog runs and bathrooms in neighborhood parks are acceptable as long as they are south of Oregon Expressway, but the same facilities will attract the "wrong" people to north Palo Alto.

Posted by Theresa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

We're not asking for a dog run though. That would be shutting off some public space for a single use. As far as I know, there isn't any unused public space anywhere in Palo Alto.

What we would like is some "time sharing" in public parks so that there are areas open for dogs to romp off-leash -- UNDER HUMAN SUPERVISION -- for set hours of the day. A small group has drafted some off-leash dog park rules that we would like to see considered.

There seem to be some people who think that the dog folks are trying to get the entire city of Palo Alto declared an off-leash dog park. That is not the case. We are trying to find a way to share public resources in a positive way.

Posted by DogFriendly
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I have seen far more garbage on the ground at parks and school fields from kids and people who seem to not be able to use trashcans effectively than I see poop from dogs.

I believe part of living in a community is just that: sharing spaces, enjoying the company of neighbors, and working together. I believe designated times for designated uses is entirely fair.

That said, I favor keeping leash laws both for the safety of people and dogs.

Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Trying to walk past the main library on Newell in the morning without an unleashed dog rushing you is often not possible. Why are the dogs permitted off-leash on the library grounds while the owners throw frisbees and balls for their dogs to chase? How can we get the enforcers of the leash law to monitor that open space that should be for people walking by safely, and not for large dogs to gallop around, often charging at you, instead of their ball? Someone should be monitoring that green, open space in the morning, and insist on a leash, preferable a short one so that they can truly control a large dog rushing around without control. Will the police, or someone who can effectively enforce our most -necessary leash laws please check the library lawn at Newell Rd. in the morning so those who are elderly among us, can safely walk past, or even through the library area safely?? Thank you.

Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I have owned dogs my entire life. They are wonderful companions and every family should have one or two.

BUT, they do not mix well with strangers and simply must be kept on a leash while in public. Dogs should have their own yard that is big enough for them to run in. They should be walked, on a short leash, several times a day. They should be interacted with by humans. A well cared for dog doesn't require a dog park or off-leash in public time. That's like saying my two year old daughter will benefit from time spent running around the mall with out my hand firmly in hers. Sure, she might learn something, and will likely have gobs of fun, but in the long run she's better off with my guidance.

Dogs and two year olds really do have a lot in common.

And as far as time sharing a park, no way. I know all of you claim to pick up after your dog and be perfect dog owners with perfect dogs. But, in reality you're not - at least some of you aren't. I don't want your dog running around my park with out a leash. Besides, it's not safe for dogs to run around unfenced urban parks with out a leash. I know, I know, YOUR dog would never disobey you and run into the street, but someones will and that would be sad. Dogs deserve better.

Posted by Seen it
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Anon for speaking out as a dog owner.

I was just going to chime in that I have seen plenty of dog owners oblivious to their off-leash dogs, deep in a chat with fellow humans, while the dog was relieving itself behind them on a lawn where kids roam day in, day out. I have seen it happen a lot at schools BTW.

Unclean to say the least.

As good companions as dog maybe, humans, including children, are still more important than dogs. Sorry if I don't sound PC enough to dog owners.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:58 pm

When dogs poop at least they are doing what they need to do and humans need to clean up after them. When humans litter, particularly by dropping gum, it is just as disgusting and just as hard to get off your shoes. I recently stepped in gum just before getting in my car and getting it off the mats in the car is nigh impossible.

So please, those of you who think that people's habits (or that of their children) is worse than dogs. At least the dogs don't know better, humans do. Train your kids to put their gum in trashcans.

Posted by JFP
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

Everywhere else I have lived, people just obeyed the leash laws,and it wasn't that big an issue. Unleashed dogs don't belong in our parks and schools. We already had one tragedy that came close to causing the death of a child.

Posted by Deep Throat
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:20 am

"Will the police, or someone who can effectively enforce our most -necessary leash laws please check the library lawn at Newell Rd. in the morning so those who are elderly among us, can safely walk past, or even through the library area safely??"

I doubt anyone will enforce the leash laws north of Oregon Expressway, either at the Main Library or at Addison School, but Animal Control will enforce the leash laws on a Sunday morning (when the City of Palo Alto claims there is no available staffing) at Hoover Park on Cowper Street south of Oregon Expressway when there is only one dog owner with a dog off leash and nobody else around in a park of over six acres.

Posted by Not a Dog Lover
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

The children at Addison school are not wrecking the grass. The large dogs who use the yards are wrecking it. All of the grass at Addison was recently replaced, new sprinklers installed, and the minute it was open, the dogs were again running free. There is one particular patch in front of the school where I have seen numerous large dogs chasing each other, chasing balls, having a great time while their owners chat it up. It looks like great fun. Unless you have a young child who uses that exact space to play in after school. Dogs and school yards are not a good mix. And don't get me started on leash laws. They are enforced so rarely. Most dog owners seem to think their Fido is better behaved than anyone else's dog. Sort of the same attitude people have about their kids. It must be somebody else's dog poop, certainly not MINE.

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I live in Mountain View and every day I take my beagles to the local elementary school where dog owners meet each evening and let their dogs run off leash. I know, crazy right? The dogs run around and play with each other while the humans make small talk. Most of us are regulars, so we know each others names and the dog names too. The local kids who are playing at the school often come over and play with the dogs. We keep track of which dog is pooping and there are plastic bags provided which are used immediately.

Does that mean that every piece of poop is picked up every time? No. Is there a small chance that a kid can get bitten? Yes. Do we spend our time worrying about such trivial nonsense? Absolutely not. It seems we'd rather live in a community, where we can all share the park space, than live in fear. We aren't preoccupied with what if's and nightmare scenarios which could prevent us from enjoying our free time.

I'm not sure what the benefit of living in Palo Alto is anymore? I used to be upset that the housing costs went up so high and pushed a lot of locals out. Now I look at the constant bickering, complaining and self-righteousness and I just don't know anymore.

Posted by Theresa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm

PA Native (now in Mt. View), there are quite a few local communities that have off-leash play time for dogs approved. San Francisco has almost 20 parks where dogs can play off-leash for set hours during the day. Mt. View has several parks where it's OK for dogs to play off-leash. Menlo Park, too.

I have occasionally taken my dog to Addison as well as several other spots. (Scott Park is usually deserted and is another favorite.) My kids went to school there in the 90s so I've seen the school quite a lot over the last 20 years since I'm a close neighbor. I haven't been there when the dog people have left poop on the lawn.

I've seen the same bald spots on the back lawn -- the one I know of has been there since the late 80s and it's because kids line up there to go back into the classroom after recess. The dog group never stands on that spot.

There's a bald spot on the front lawn that the dog folk try to avoid standing on. I see kids hanging around and playing on that bald spot before and after school. (Addison is on my route downtown so I go by it at least once a day and usually 3 or 4 times.) The dog folk were talking about it one time and were going to move.

This whole debate is starting to remind me of a couple of my relatives who are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Both tend to forward emails about their political nemeses that contain quite a bit of ... shall we say, factual misstatements ... that are easy to disprove. Once you've picked a demon, there's no way you're likely to see the good in that issue.

There's a lot of good to be brought to a community that fosters responsible dog ownership. Most dog owners understand that there are people who don't like dogs, for whatever reason. But those reasons seem to be getting extended and generalized beyond the boundaries of truth.

That's too bad because we all just want to be good neighbors and share the available resources.

Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:27 am

Here's a link to the problems with dog droppings -- they can contain E. coli and salmonella. In addition, if left on the ground, they can wash into our waterways -- not good.

It's not a good idea for kids to roll around on lawn that dogs have dropped on.

Web Link

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm


A very well thought out response you have given. I agree with you wholeheartedly.


Come on man. Show me one case where a kid has gotten e.coli from dog poop on a school lawn. Just one case.

Posted by It's not the dog, it's the owner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I am in favor of this idea in which DNA samples leads authorities to the dog:

Dog droppings are one of the leading sources of E. coli (fecal coliforms) bacterial pollution: One gram of dog feces contains over 20,000,000 E. coli cells.[2] While an individual animal's deposit of feces will not measurably affect the environment, the cumulative effect of thousands of dogs and cats in a metropolitan area can create serious problems due to contamination of soil and water supplies. The runoff from neglected pet waste contaminates water, creating health hazards for people, fish, ducks, etc.[3]

The situation is particularly dire[citation needed] in Germany, where an estimated 1400 tonnes of feces are deposited daily on public property. A citizen commission (2005) overwhelmingly recommended a plan that would break even at about seven months. DNA samples would be required when pet licenses come up for renewal. Within a year, a database of some 12,500 registration-required canine residents would be available to sanitation workers with sample-test kits. Evidence would be submitted to a forensics laboratory where technicians could readily match the waste to its dog. The prospect of a prompt fine equivalent to $600 US (at 2005 exchange rate) would help assure preventive compliance, as well as cover costs.[4]

Posted by Erin
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I don't really understand how poop is even an issue in this discussion. The only way to ensure that poop is not left in parks or on fields is to restrict dogs to their personal yards or in dog parks only. No walks in neighborhoods, no walks in parks, etc. The leash issue had nothing to do with the poop issue.

To the person equating dogs with two year-olds not needing to run around the mall? I feel sorry for your kids.

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

Wow, I can't believe that after picking up after my dog all these years I haven't caught E. coli yet. It'll probably happen to me real soon then. Thanks for the info, I wasn't scared before, now I'm scared soemthingless.

Posted by It's not the dog, it's the owner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:56 pm

P.A. Native,

E-coli gets into a person's system when they don't know they have it on them (ie a child who puts his hand on the grass where feces was and then grabs his sandwich and eats it). If you are picking up your dog's feces with a bag, then you will not catch e-coli.

Posted by It's not the dog, it's the owner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 1:27 am

Why do dog owners use scoopers or bags to pick up the poop? Why not use bare hands if it is not dangerous to touch? You can pick up the poop, but a child can be rolling on the grass soon afterwards.

As I dropped off my kinder to Duveneck Elementary School this week, I witnessed a huge dog pooping on the kindergarten grass next to their playground. Sure, the owner picked up the poop, but what about the children who fall on the lawn from playing tag or from sitting down to rest? The dog owners who think it's no big deal should start stepping on the grass after picking up the poop so the residue can stick to their shoes instead of on others. I doubt they would ever do this.

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