Dog poo is no joke

A local reader recently came into The Pipestone Flyer office to get some dog control signs photocopied.

A local reader recently came into The Pipestone Flyer office to get some dog control signs photocopied. These signs appeared to be sort of comical: they included a “please don’t let your dog dump on my lawn,” with a little cartoon on the poster of a dog creating a stool.

The local resident told newspaper staff it wasn’t the first time he’d made signs for this issue and, sadly, it probably wouldn’t be the last. His yard has been a regular dumping ground for his neighbours dogs, despite the signs and even some personal appeals. Apparently, the resident has approached people who let their dog take a dump right on this fellow’s lawn. The signs may have been comedic and amusing, but the issue of mutual respect of a neighbour’s property is not a joke.

Most if not all municipalities have dog control bylaws that also include dogs defecating on public or private property without permission. Communities such as Millet, Wetaskiwin and Leduc all have community standards or animal control bylaws that prohibit dogs leaving piles of defecation on public property where passersby have to look at and smell the offending material, and private landowners also have their yards protected by the bylaws.

For instance, the City of Wetaskiwin’s animal control bylaw states in part, “No animal shall be a nuisance. A nuisance shall include, but not be limited to… (iv) defecating on property other than that of the Owner.” The Town of Millet’s animal control bylaw states, “No animal shall be a nuisance. A nuisance shall include, but not be limited to… (iv) Defecating on property other than that of the Owner… If an animal defecates on property other than the Owner’s property, the owner of the animal shall remove forthwith any defecated matter deposited… The Enforcement Officer may impound the animal(s) at the Owner’s expense, if the Owner has not complied with the order within fourteen (14) days.” Of course, the bylaw clearly states if your canine is dropping stinky, steaming piles on someone else’s lawn, you are in violation of the bylaw and can be fined.

Just for the record, all of you cat owners out there should take heed as well. The Town of Millet, for example, prohibits, through its animal control bylaw, any animal running at large. And this includes felines. “…any cat is running at large if it is shown to be off of the property of the owner and not on leash,” states Millet’s bylaw.

The City of Leduc’s animal control information states, “The bylaw introduces regulations to facilitate responsible pet ownership in our community. This includes ensuring dogs and cats wear licence tags at all times. The licence fee includes the services of expert animal control officers, which greatly improves the chances of a lost pet being returned to its rightful owners.

“Requiring that a dog or cat be on a leash when off the property of the owner, unless the owner of the property grants permission for the pet to be off leash on their property, ensures that property is protected, and stray animals can be easily identified. Loose animals pose a threat to other animals, residents, property, and themselves. The bylaw requires that residents protect their pets from the dangers of roaming unsupervised,” it added.

Besides the obvious stench and unpleasantness of dog and cat defecation, property owners who’ve had problems with illicit doo know the effect this material can have on their prized lawns.

The problem isn’t just on private property either, but plagues public areas in communities around the region. Hiking and walking trails are developed for the enjoyment of all, and piles of decaying defecation do not add to the enjoyment of public places.

But the specifics of the bylaw are neither here nor there.

Neighbours shouldn’t need a bylaw forcing them to treat each other, and their property, with respect.

Neighbours should already know that homeowners don’t want to be continually scooping other people’s dog doo off their private property.

It’s common courtesy.