Artful Dodger Dealing with Issues of Pet Waste

 The signs “Post No Bills,” “Active Driveway” and “Alternate Side Parking” are all fairly common and relatively self-explanatory in urban settings. Other equally common signs we see in suburban communities throughout the U.S.  related to pets are: “Curb Your Dog,” “Please Clean Up After Your Dog,” or “All Pets Must Be on a Leash.”

 Well, in New Jersey it all depends on the town you live in and sadly, while the  ordinance that deals with picking up after your pet varies little from  neighborhood to neighborhood, the signage and cleanliness of the sidewalks  certainly can and do vary. This variance in pet waste has to do with a few  factors: The number of dog-friendly buildings in one area, proximity to green  spaces and dog runs, and the all-important “responsibility quotient” of dog owners in the community. All it takes is for a few individuals to start the downward spiral of pet owners  not picking up after their pets and it becomes a messy problem, so to speak,  creating a rift between those who love animals and those who don’t.  

 While it may be hard for dog lovers to believe there are people out there who  are either indifferent to or even have a dislike for dogs, it's important to  respect the fact that they do indeed exist and as such, try to respect them  while taking their dogs for a stroll or to do their “business” outing.  

 Former board member at Stonegate at Watchung Fred Marks says pet waste was a  major topic at every board meeting. “We were always trying to find a solution for residents that didn’t pick up after their dogs,” says Marks. “We put warnings in the monthly minutes letter stating that any residents caught  not picking up after their dog would be subject to a $25 dollar fine. It didn’t work. We sent certified letters to dog owners asking them to pick up after  their dogs. Nothing worked. To this day, we still have not found a solution.”  

 The Scoop

 According to Daniel Emmer, communications manager for the New Jersey State  Department of Health, there are approximately two million dogs in the state.  When responsible owners take their dogs out to do their business, it’s a fairly routine process. Start with “curbing your dog.” This generally means bringing your dog to the curb to do their business. It’s a wonderful sentiment and actually works fairly often, but it is not  foolproof. When curbing is not an option the next best thing is to (at least) guide them to  a spot that is as out of the way as possible and hopefully they will do their “thing” there.  


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  • This variance in pet waste has to do with a few factors. The number of dog-friendly buildings in one area, Waste cleansing will be done. If there is a disease, chicks should be arranged.
  • I appreciate how you say that you would want to find out about local regulations regarding pet waste. It would be smart to know this before you take your pets on walks or things like that. My husband and I moved, so if we live in a place with many regulations we'll have to find a pet waste service to help us out.
  • But how do I report a neighbor that adamantly refuses to pick up after her two dogs? To the point where altercations are beginning to escalate because she purposefully let them go in front of and even pick it up from down the street and disposes of it in front of my 73 year old grandmother's house.
  • Unfortunately there will always be the few who ruin things for everyone. Quite a few dogs in my condo, yet 2 always allow theirs to go on front lawn. When confronted they just shrug their shoulders as if "what can I do". Argh!! They are totally inconsiderate and clueless. I wonder if we were in private houses if they would walk their dogs up to my front door and allow it there. Fronts of buildings belong to the community, which one would hope they had respect for, but sadly, they do not.