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20-40-60 Etiquette: Getting people to scoop their dog's poop

Richard Rosser, author of “Piggy Nation,” weighs in with the 20-40-60 Etiquette panel about how to get people to clean up after their dogs.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Callie Athey Published: June 16, 2013

QUESTION: I live in a nice neighborhood. Walks are common among neighbors and their furry friends. These ordinarily friendly folk have no problem allowing their animals to let loose their business anywhere — driveways, gardens, lawns. On numerous occasions. I have offered a plastic bag for cleanup only to be rejected. My grievance is the lack of responsibility for their pet. Any thoughts on this problem?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: I think you have done all you can by offering a doggie bag. I think it is great if you keep trying to offer these doggie bags. In some neighborhoods people can get fined if they do not clean up after their pets. I would check into this and see what your neighborhoods policy is.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: This is such a problem that there are services that advertise the ability to test a dog's DNA and compare it to the poop on your lawn so you know exactly who the culprit was; in other states, I've read about some neighborhoods requiring owners to register the DNA of their dogs in order to track the unscooped poop. That doesn't help you solve your problem, but it might help to know you're not alone. We try to bring cleanup bags every time we take our dog on a walk, and if we forget one, we'll drive back to the spot and clean it up later. It's too bad that you were rejected in your offer to provide such a bag, but it sounds like you've done all you can do other than call city officials to register a complaint.

HELEN'S ANSWER: If you have a dog, being responsible for it means cleaning up after it. In some states fines are given if you don't scoop the poop.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Athey
Freelance Writer
Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a...
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