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September 21, 2014

Dog waste: Ottawa's dirty little secret

What is it with dog waste in this city?  Why do some dog owners still refuse to pick up after their pets?

Our community has a neighbourhood Facebook group, and just about every week there's someone posting about dog poop left at the playground, dog poop on the lawn, dog poop along the nature trail. There's even an idiot in our neighbourhood who takes the effort to pick up the poop ... but then leaves the bags behind on the ground.

I know this is problem is not unique to our neighbourhood.

It's like texting while driving. Most people have figured out that it's an irresponsible thing to do, but a few people still insist on doing it.

The photo above was taken at the neighbourhood park a couple weeks ago, first thing on a Monday morning. While I'm glad people are bagging their dog poop, I'm disappointed that it's ending up in an overflowing garbage pail next to a city splash pad and to a school bus stop.  It was overflowing like this for most of the summer, and it reeked.

There's a bylaw against putting dog waste in city garbage bins. (The City wants you to bring it home and flush it down your toilet.) I called the city and they've now installed signs on the garbage can and promised to pick up the garbage more frequently. I don't think that's going to help much.

I own a large boxer. He makes his fair share of waste, but I've never considered it a hassle to bag it up and bring it home.

Fellow dog owners, I have a few questions for you.  Please comment below. You can even comment anonymously.

  • Why don't you pick up after your dog?
  • When a garbage bin next to a kids' park is overflowing, why do you keep piling bags on top and around it?
  • What else can be done to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets?

(Previously: The new garbage bin at Conroy Pit is a load of...)

See also: Ottawa Pets Guide
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  1. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Hello, I'm a "fellow dog owner" in the Fairwinds area and I'd be happy to answer your questions. Although, I presume you're addressing the minority of inconsiderate dog owners and not generalizing everyone but yourself.

    Q: Why don't you pick up after your dog?
    A: I do.

    Q: When a garbage bin next to a kids' park is overflowing, why do you keep piling bags on top and around it?
    A: I don't.

    Q: What else can be done to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets?
    A: Judging by your photo, the issue doesn't seem to be people not picking up after their pets, but not having anywhere to put it after they do. Personally, I keep a small bin outside my home that I deposit the waste into. However, I would much rather have somewhere else to put it.

    Surely our property taxes and pet registration fees could cover the cost of dog waste receptacles being installed in and around city parks and trails. Many communities are already doing this and several even provide complimentary bags to further encourage people to pick up the waste.

    Robidog is a company that distributes these types of dog waste bins and even offers an app that allows you to find the nearest one. http://www.robidog.com/en/Home/index.php

    A system similar to this would be beneficial to not only the dog owners in our community, but everyone who enjoys our parks and green space.

  2. Answer to your last question: tasers.
    Seriously, it's human nature to be lazy. The worst offenders I see at the Conroy Pit, where I walk my hounds are the idiots who do pick up their dog's poop and leave the steaming mess on the road in a jaunty little pink bag instead of walking the few steps to the gigantic head installed by the City for waste disposal.
    Also, crack heads should never be allowed to own dogs. I don't think they pick up their own poop.

  3. Anonymous1:59 PM

    I really appreciate it that in the brand-new Hampton Dog Park, the City installed top-quality waste receptacles, as well as special poop-bag receptacles attached to the fences (that seem to be well-replenished with plastic bags brought by users). I do a regular run through the Byron Park with my dog; I make a rule of not dropping full poop-bags in receptacles near the children's playground...on just a couple of occasions when I forgot to refill my portable poop-bag dispenser prior to our run, I improvised by: on one occasion marking the spot where the poop fell...running to our destination, finding a discarded bag, and picking up the poop from the marked spot on the way back home. On another...picking up--carefully!--the poop using a handful of fallen leaves, and then depositing it in a nearby receptacle away from the path. With a little ingenuity, it is always possible to figure out what needs to be done--and doing it!

  4. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Our neighbourhood park (Windsor Park) has a trial program where there are special bins for dog poop. Works great! Talk to Jim Watson to get it city-wide...


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