BHB Reader to Brooklyn Heights Dog Owners: Clean Up That “Gold”

When I was a kid, my mother used to warn me not to step in “the gold” left on the street by neighborhood dogs.   It was much classier than dropping the “s” bomb I guess.  Anywho, that was before the awesome Fran Lee went on a tirade back in the 1970s and got NYC to pass its famed “Pooper Scooper” law.

Well, it seems that some dog owners –  close to 40 years after Ms. Lee won her battle against poo – still haven’t gotten the memo as this reader writes:

Dear Homer – On my three block walk to get a paper this morning I noticed no less than five fresh mounds of dog crap on the sidewalk. What the hell is going on around here. This non-pooper scooping business is getting way out of control. I have photographed a few of the human offenders from my window and I’m wondering if you would like to post them on your site. Let me know.

Your tired of stepping in dog crap neighbor,

PS I have attached a photo of some fresh evidence for your use.

That “evidence” is after the jump. IT’S NOT PRETTY.  CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK. (Oh and we won’t be publishing photos of human offenders.)dog-POO-052310

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  • Matthew Parker

    As a dog owner and urban dog run and off-leash advocate, it drives me crazy when a small percentage of dog owners don’t pick up their dogs’ poop. It reflects badly on all dog owners–unfairly.

    I’ve picked up other peoples’ dogs’ poop because it’s vile to see it on the street, and I don’t want to be stepping in it myself. I’m always carrying around doggie poo bags for my own dog. But while it’s easy to pick up your own dog’s poo, it’s hard to do it for others.

    How can I say with confidence is that it’s a very small percentage of dog owners who don’t pick up their dogs’ poo? Do the math. There are hundreds of dogs in the Heights–maybe even a thousand. Each poos on average 2x/day. The place would be one big manure field without a very high compliance rate from responsible dog owners toward the poop scoop law.

    If you’re a dog owner and you’re reading this, and you don’t pick up your dog’s poop: not only are you breaking the law, but you’re inconsiderate, selfish, and rude to your neighbors. And you don’t deserve the privledge of owning a dog. Yes you.

    I’ve run across a few irresponsible dog owners who weren’t going to pick up their dogs’ poop. I take a dog poop bag out of my pocket, hand it to them, and tell them “you must have forgotten to bring a bag”, then watch them pick it up.

  • skunky

    not sure why you don’t want to post the pics of the offenders. public shaming is a worthy goal of a blog. are you concerned with being sued?

  • Homer Fink

    @skunky we’ll leave the vigilante biz to Chuck Bronson

  • Matthew Parker

    There’s a difference between vigilantism and public shaming.

    I’m all for public shaming for those who don’t pick up dog poo.

  • Monie

    But Homer – What useful purpose is there in showing a photo of the poop? We all know what that looks like. It is the owner whose face we would like to see, because therein lies the culprit who is responsible for the pile being left on the sidewalk for us to step in. It is not the pooper’s fault. He is only answering nature’s call at the place allowed by his owner (would he/she be called the poopee??). I agree that the owner should be “outed”…and that this is not vigilantism!

  • the where

    You people are insane. Public shaming? Really?

  • John Wentling

    That pile of “gold” must have come from a Great Dane – the owner must have forgot his shovel and wheelbarrel.

  • Henry

    Not pick up after one’s dog is a crime punishable by a fine. What is the issue of publishing a picture of someone committing a crime?

  • the where

    @henry because possibly there are REAL CRIMES being committed somewhere?

  • dash

    The problem of dog owners’ not picking up after their dogs is particularly infuriating when it’s poop on the sidewalk, since they’ve actually now broken 2 laws, the pooper scooper law AND the CURB YOUR DOG law. The latter seems to be violated by quite a bit more than just a few dog owners (when was the last time you saw someone’s dog doing its business OFF the sidewalk?). And even the most diligently scooped poop leaves traces that our smallest children can’t help but pick up when their hands, arms, or feet touch the sidewalk. Dog owners, PLEASE walk your dogs OFF the sidewalks — in the Heights there are several streets with parking on just one side, so you have plenty of room.

  • colleen

    My fiance and I have been tempted to write this same note to BHB for months. We have a dog! His leash has a permanently attached baggie holder. Makes things really quite easy.

    It is incredibly disappointing that some people can not be responsible enough to clean up after their pets. I find their practice disrespectful and immature – so yes, shame on them. Featured log photos or not. Our community, and those that live in it, deserve much better than continuously dodging “land mines” out on Clark Street.

  • Heather Quinlan

    As an aside – I was told that a super on Hicks St went berserk last weekend and attacked a dog owner – apparently he doesn’t like people walking their dogs by his building. Anyone else know about this?

  • AAR

    Three cheers for Matthew Parker! Publish the photos of offenders, although not everyone reads BHB. Might help to have them in the Heights Press as well. I am a dog owner and agree that we should get our dogs to poop at/off the curb. An added suggestion – take a paper towel and put it under your dog’s butt….makes it a whole lot easier to pick up waste….

  • Flashlight Worthy

    I’m all for posting photos of anyone not picking up after their dog. That said, in 10 months of walking my dog here and 10 years of living here, I’ve never noticed anyone leaving anything behind.

    Has anyone else seen people leaving it behind?

  • The Where

    @aar NO ONE reads the Heights Press although I hear it’s popular in God’s Waiting Room.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Hmm. Perhaps some warning should be given to these offenders before posting their photos? Like “Hey, stop doing that or you’re going to end up on the Internet?”

    That should be enough to dissuade most of these folks.

    If that doesn’t work than I see no ethical or legal problem in posting their photos. They are A) doing something in public B) committing a crime and C) being disrespectful to their community.

  • yd

    Last time I recall someone was singled out on the web the article with pictures was pulled. That was the dog walker using a scooter going against a one way street.

    If you want to ashame people publicly lets include people who are using placards to park illegally, people who run screaming and drunk through the Heights in the middle of the night, parents who dont have their kids under control, the shop lifter at Keyfood, the price gauger of Christede’s. Any other suggestions?

  • Ari

    What’s the point of publishing the photo’s on this website??

    These people are doing this in broad daylight on public streets.

    Why would they care anymore or less because photos of them are surfacing on the internet?

    The biggest deterrent is if the laws are actually enforced and hefty fines are assessed to these selfish dog-owners.

    Have to agree with a previous poster. There are likely hundreds if not 1,000+ dogs in the neighborhood, the amount of inconsiderate people who don’t pick up after thier dogs is probably a minor data set of the entire dog-owning population in the ‘hood.

    But alas, the actions of the few ruin it for the many….

  • David on Middagh

    I’ll vote for the public outing, too. This winter someone let what must have been a huge dog drop a load in front of my building, right where parents pick up kids after school. It turned into multiple smears on the sidewalk that lasted for days.

    And that wasn’t the first time Middagh St. has suffered from what we suspect is the same dog.

  • Fabio

    I’ve been thinking for months that the vast quantities of dog excrement that litter every block in the Heights on a dialy basis has become an epidemic. It’s downright medieval at this point. Public shaming is a fine idea, but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to this.

  • juuggaloo

    Even when you pick it up, there are disgusting “skidmarks” all over every damn sidewalk in the Heights. Dog people should be forced to lick it up.

    And then imprisoned.

  • AEB

    You don’t have to be Dr. Freud to see that people have a rather fraught relationship to their and other animals’ waste products. In which shame plays a large part.

  • Luke C

    If you want to do public shaming, start your own blog. I’m all for it but BHB serves a different purpose.

  • Jack

    Public shaming? Lick it up? Prison?
    Just knowing that I live amongst people like you, scares the crap out of me.

  • ClarknHenry

    … just another indication that the Social Contract is, in a word: BROKEN. I have often picked up dog poo left by inconsiderate miscreants… just like I pick up trash left by same each and every time I walk my dog. Sometimes I can collect an entire grocery bag of personal trash left behind from a single walk around the block! Funny, litter in Manhattan never seems to bother me, but offends me greatly in Brooklyn Heights. The reason? Heights residents seem rather proprietary, which may be inconvenient for some, but I think is a great thing. I mean how can you live in such a beautiful place and trash it, with either litter or dog shit??? I say: FINE the irresponsible among us. Fine them for BOTH offenses, then blame their mothers for not doing a better job.

  • Angry Dog-owner

    Yes, please understand, to us dog-owners who do pick up our dog’s s— (which I hate doing), nothing bothers me more than when other dog owners escape this responsibility. And while humans can typically navigate through the dog s— on the streets, often our dogs don’t so easily. Picking someone else’s dog’s s— out of my dog’s paws makes me want find the person and stuff it down his throat.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Maybe we need to leave the pitchforks at home guys… Most dog-owners are very responsible, and pets that are responsibly cared for make the neighborhood a much nicer place to live.

    The few bad apples should be educated, not be “forced to lick it up.”


  • north heights res

    @heather I live in a building whose residents frequently let their dogs urinate right outside the door. The stench is awful. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that a doorman is trying to prevent the same from happening in front of his building.

  • juuggaloo

    Yes, AEB, wanting to live in a neighborhood that’s not s$#t-stained over every square inch of sidewalk is a sure sign of deep-seated mental disorder.

    And Quinn, how does a dog make life nicer for the “neighborhood”? Maybe for the individual who love his or her little turd-dropper. But for the rest of us it’s a lot of barking and other… well, we’ve exhausted that topic, haven’t we?

  • lrb

    With the amount of dog poop lining almost every street in our neighborhood, you are foolish to believe there are only a “few bad apples”. In walks around, from the promenade to side streets, we’ve stopped dog owners who don’t pick up and see us watching them not pick… the response to “are you not going to clean up after your dog?” has always been extremely defensive. In fact, two dog owners, just walked on, leaving their poop, while scowling at us. It’s sad and it’s pathetic and it’s beyond disrepectful.