Dog poop bags in neighborhood cans: Yay or nay?
Should dog owners and walkers return home to throw away dog poop bags?
I got a letter in the mail from a neighbor asking me to join NextDoor.com — the neighborhood site that’ll notify you about everything from missing pets and local job opportunities to business recommendations and items for sale.
I’m a big fan of the Mind Your Business Fan Club and handpick the neighbors I want to know on a first-name basis. But this seemed like a great way to promote Toastmasters meetings and recommend my favorite local handyman.
In less than a week of being on NextDoor.com, I remember why I’m the president of the Mind Your Business Fan Club. I simply prefer dogs over people. What sparked my most recent rationale for being people-antisocial? There’s a forum full of opinionated suburban homeowners debating whether dog owners and dog walkers should wait until they get home to empty poop bags. Not only did this make me relieved that I live in a city full of alleys; it also made me wonder why people love their garbage so much.
While every homeowner has a right to a clean lawn and dog owners/dog walkers who do not leave dog feces behind, I’m dumbfounded by the number of people who:
- insert ties around their garbage cans to make sure no one else’s trash goes inside
- get in their cars and follow dog walkers all the way home to make sure the walker does not leave trash in a neighbor’s garbage can
- call the police to report poop bags in their garbage cans
- run outside to get the dog walker/dog owner to remove the poop bag
When the poop hits the grass
In certain suburban areas, there are ordinances that state the trash inside of a homeowner’s receptacle should be from that property. But if the dog decided to release herself in front of that property, is the waste from it now legitimate enough to also empty on that property? Would the Garbage Police rather it be left behind on the yard? Clearly no one can force a dog to hold in her wastes. And should someone try to force the dog to not release herself, get ready for all the ramifications of reverse crate and paper training. You finally got your dog to go outside only for the Garbage Police to get mad that your dog is regularly releasing herself outside.
Stop sniffing your garbage cans
There are unscented dog poop bags that can get ripe when the wind hits. But what in the world is going on with the noses of the Garbage Police that they can claim to smell poop bags in closed garbage cans outside? If the Garbage Police doesn’t stick their heads inside of the garbage can counting poop bags and smelling garbage, they have nothing to worry about. Should a garbage truck driver not completely empty the garbage can, then that’s something to work out with the city or suburb. Garbage is usually picked up once or twice per week. If the Garbage Police is running outside to count all of the poop bags in the can or keeping daily inventory of what goes in, this person truly needs a hobby. Not that one, another one.
We all poop — get over it
All living beings excrete. Those signs that request that dogs neither urinate or poop on their lawns are pipe dreams. While it is certainly reasonable to make sure the dog walker or dog owner cleans up behind the dog — for both aesthetic and hygiene reasons (including pet allergies) — the entire point of a dog walk is so the dog gets exercise and has a chance to relieve herself somewhere outside of the home. Walking in circles in the driveway won’t cut it. For apartment dwellers, there’s not even that option. And if you’re in a neighborhood that bans dogs and/or has no dog parks, then you really don’t have a community poop receptacle to make use of.
Online marketplaces take advantage of the Garbage Police
Of course online marketplaces like Amazon don’t hesitate to sell no dog poop signs like these. But what exactly do buyers want the dog walker or dog owner to do once the dog squats down? Drag the dog up the street? If the entire neighborhood is filled with these signs, at what point does the dog start thinking the person walking her is wasting both of their time?
Imagine if a vegetarian felt like the Garbage Police
One user made a very interesting point challenging the Garbage Police about how they’d feel if a McDonald’s bag or KFC bag was dumped into a neighbor’s garbage can. According to the vegetarian user, “It created [an] added stench of meat. Since I’m a vegetarian, I was appalled that someone would have the audacity to put their trash in MY garage can. I can’t get it out because I don’t want to touch meat or the bones, and now flies have come.” Would the Garbage Police agree with this line of thinking too?
As a 15-year vegetarian who is immediately repulsed by the stench of meat, this comparison is accurate. However, I would never ever tell anyone to stop putting meat garbage in my garbage can where garbage goes. I’m not exactly thrilled when visitors come over eating meat or putting it in my garbage can, but I don’t make anybody go outside to the alley dumpster to dump the remainder.
And I would never ever tell anyone to stop putting meat garbage in my garbage can where garbage goes.
I’ll take his statement one step further. How would the Garbage Police feel if a restaurant or shopping mall bathroom attendant just got tired of cleaning up stopped toilets? The workers put up signs telling customers to take their poop home with them. Hell, they have bathrooms. Why must you use the mall or restaurant instead of just the employees? You can walk or drive home with your waste just like a dog walker/dog owner can walk home with a poop bag. What’s the big deal?