ASK DR. DISH: Scoop on poop

Question: I think you might have written about this before, but I am going to ask anyways. There is somebody in the neighborhood that does not pick up his dog’s poop. It is disgusting that people will leave dog poop on the side of the road and not even pick it up! Is there something we can do about it?

Answer: Yes, there is! I know because we have the same problem where I live.

I walk my dogs — Sunny and Indy — every day around our neighborhood. And there isn’t a single day that I haven’t seen abandoned dog poop on grassy spots along the roadway. Not a single day. I can’t imagine why people just leave their dog poop there. It’s not like they didn’t notice it. So why leave it there? What’s so hard about picking it up and throwing it away?

Not only is it neighborly — it’s also the law. According to the Hawaiian Humane Society, the city ordinance against littering includes a provision that applies to animals. It states that if a pet deposits feces on private or public property, owners are required to clean it up. You can call the Honolulu Police Department and report it.

Aside from the law, there’s a health reason to pick up your dog poop. It has been estimated that a single gram of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. Two or three days worth of poop from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporary close a bay to swimming, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s serious.

So what can you do? I’d confront the culprit, if you ever find him or her. I’d order them to pick up their dog poop, otherwise you’ll have to report the incident. It’s only fair that pet owners do their part. They’re making the rest of us look bad!

Anyone got advice to add?


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