Brooklyn Heights Dog Poop Vigilante Strikes Hicks Street

Two BHB readers sent us photos today of signs posted by a Brooklyn Heights resident outraged by dog poop left in front of 175 Hicks Street.

The Poop Vigilante framed two lumps of feces with two signs.  One reading “Pick up your sh*t or don’t have a dog.”  The other, “What kind of lazy person leaves dog sh*t?”

Yes, this does raise the question of why don’t dog owners/dog walkers clean up after their animals.  Do you think the person who wrote the note is right?  What about leaving the poop on the street and taping notes to the sidewalk?

See the signs (and the poop) after the jump.

One  of our tipsters wrote:

Hopefully this starts a new trend of poop nazis in the hood!

And the other:

We found it very poignant as it calls bold attention to the fact that the problem of dog walkers not cleaning up after their pets has reach epidemic proportions in our neighborhood.

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  • bklyn20

    There’s no excuse for not picking up (and I have dogs.) If you don’t have a bag handy, and that should be a rare occurence, then pull an annoying moving company flyer from the nearest light pole, or ask someone passing by for a kleenex.

    However, there needs to be MANY more garbage cans on the street — there’s nothing lke carrying a warm little baggie for 10 blocks until you find a corner can.

    That said, there are a lot of non-dog-owner violations going on, like early morning deposits of household trash in NYC corner garbage cans, or cigarette butts in planters … People generally should be more mindful of their neighbors and their neighborhood. Uncollected p–p is near the top of the list because it’s the most disgusting offense.

  • Doggiemaven

    The folks who attend Hillside Dog Park are very vigilant about this kind of egregious behavior, pointing out to those who don’t notice their dog’s “deposits”. I’m not sure who is to blame. Yes, it seems worse this Spring than other years, to be sure.

    bklyn20: please rethink your kleenex idea. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Those long blue NYT delivery bags are the best method………

  • Monty

    I can imagine a reboot of the Death Wish franchise where a yuppie on the edge goes on a killing rampage in brownstone Brooklyn over quality of life issues like dog poop and delivery bikes on the sidewalk. I’m sure the readers of this blog would pay to see it.

  • bklyn20

    Kleenex can be ok for microdogs. Over 10 lbs, it’s bags. And at Hillside with the regulars, people do police each other’s dogs. On summer weekends it can be very hard to get peoples’ attention, although I still do try.

  • Demonter

    Do not forget that rats are attracted to dog feces…bad news.

  • tman

    I agree, of course, that dog owners should pick up after their dogs. I don’t agree that more garbage cans are required. I assume that most dogs are walked by people who live here. I think it is incredibly rude to use a neighbor’s (defined as within walking distance) garbage can to drop the poop bag when in a few minutes the dog owner can use his own garbage can. If the garbage can is already out on the curb, fine, but I have seen people walk into a front yard to use the garbage can.

  • spm

    I have to say, I agree with the posters and I have a dog.

    It is unbelievable to me that people do not pick up after their dogs but just last weekend there was a man running with his dog (you know who you are), pulling the dog along by the neck and pausing a moment while the dog squatted and did his business. He was running in place and when the dog finished, he just kept running – not picking up the feces. I was too far away (although I did shout a “hey, you!” nor could I run to catch up with him but I just couldn’t believe it. There were two men running fast who I asked if they caught up with him could they point out that he should pick it up and they just looked at me like “crazy lady.” There are people out there who just don’t give a sh*t. Literally.

  • Ari

    I am a dog owner as well.

    But tman, I think most people if were that close to their own garbage cans would wait to use them (I would). The lack of public garbage cans is a huge problem and your logic is flawed.

    My dog needs to be walking for a seriously long time before he relaxes his muscles enough to be able to attempt a poop.

    Usually at least 20 minutes or about a mile into a typical walk. I can only speak for myself, but I do not just circle around my block and its environs to walk my dog. Rather I walk at least said mile or more, and I am often very far from my own home to just hang onto the bag of poop and take it back to my apartment with me. (Also, who brings their dog poop into their own apartment to throw it away?). Not everyone in BKH is homeowner, or has garbage cans of their “own” in front of their building.

    While it’s not necessarily admirable to use someone’s garbage cans and insert a smelly bag of dog poop into it. The lack of public garbage cans is direct correlation of this practice.

    I called 311about this issue, who then transferred me to the DOS. They told me that they remove(d) garbage cans from strictly residential street corners and only have them as mandatory on corners that have commercial tenants. A silly practice which I suspect is to cut costs of collection, fuel, etc.

    Maybe the lack of public garbage cans and the unwillingness of people to use their “neighbors” cans causes some incredibly rude and disgusting people to simply leave it on the sidewalk..

    Whatever happened to taking pictures of offenders and posting them on the blog and lampposts? Public shaming is usually pretty effective…

  • Perry Schaffer

    Scarcity of garbage cans a lame excuse. Whatever it takes, dog owners or walkers gotta deal with the poops. Period. You want to throw it in a private garbage can. Not sure I think that’s a felony. Or put it in your pocket. I don’t care. Just don’t leave it on the sidewalk. Btw, we’re dog owners.

  • bklyn20

    Of course you have to deal with your dog’s by-products. You should not put them into someone else’s trash can. BUT more publc cans on corners could also hold discarded coffee cups etc. The 1 public can in my area was emptied early this Friday morning and was overflowing by late Friday afternoon. Not all the trash in there was dog waste. More corner cans in the Heights would be good for everyone. And if cops – who I know are busy – see someone leave poo on the sidewalk then give the offender a ticket.

  • Andrew Porter

    I always have lots of extra small plastic bags from food I buy. Once a month or so I go over to the dog park on Columbia Heights and leave them in the metal containers, ready for use by dogrun people.

    But today, I too saw a bunch of uncollected dog poop. I don’t want to go back to the bad old days when you had to walk with your eyes on the sidewalk in front of you.

  • WillowtownCop

    I spent 3 days in court over a dog poop summons my partner wrote a couple of years ago. Some idiot yuppie lawyer thought he would waste everyone’s time.

    My uncle tells a story of picking up a steaming pile and throwing it at the guy who left it in front of a building he was managing years ago. It seems like the best solution.

  • Csm

    Having grown up in the Heights in the 60s, pre-pooper scooper law (what it was called at the time), I can assure all that the streets are much better now than then, and I’d hate to see us return to those conditions. There were also more trash cans on the street corners…. So perhaps a calling campaign to 311 is in order?

  • Big Dave

    What is the current fine? Some new residents/visitors esp. from other countries might not know…

  • Strauss

    As a parent of a 2 year old, I have a hard time letting my daughter walk on the sidewalk because of it. And personally, I’ve stepped in it two times in the past two years.

    My wife says we need a new slogan in NYC:

    “If you see sh*t, say sh*t.”

  • nabeguy

    Csm, having also grown up in the Height’s, I can agree with you. However, my complacency about the situation was my downfall when I recently took my eyes off the sidewalk and stepped into a nice ripe pile on Henry Street. The fact that laws had to be enacted to enforce something that should be considered a common (sense) courtesy has always vexed me.

  • AEB

    Alas, in re unretrieved dog excreta, some people will flout the law always or occasionally. One hopes that there are or will be fewer and fewer of them.

    In the meantime, it pays to be…vigilant.

  • pankymom

    If that was my house, I’d set up a web cam and have some fun. Suggest a “Grab yer baggie, dog walker: we’re filming you” sign.

  • David on Middagh

    Dung beetles!

    Nothing warms my heart more than to see a bug, butt in the air, making itself useful.

  • roccos

    Yes a webcam!! there’s an old white haired overweight man who walks with a cane (which is probably why he can’t bend over to pick up poop very easily) – he walks a large tall white shaggy dog. I’m not sure buy he may live on columbia hgts. He’s out early morning and doesn’t pick up after his dogs enormous cow paddy size liquid squishy dog piles. He left one right in front of my building and if not for the doorman saying hey . . . get back here. It was runny too. I suspect those sneaker trails left by some poor sap who wasn’t looking down are left by this man and his dog. If I get a picture – what should i do with hit?

  • lisa kalb schaffer

    Stop complaining about lack of garbage pails people. Lame, lazy and irresponsible excuse.

    We’ve lived with our dog in 3 different places and this, Brooklyn Heights, is the place with the MOST garbage pails and also where more people DO NOT clean up after their dogs. Never seen anything like the like this. Its disgusting and classless. Get a hold of yourselves people….and do like we do…clean up after your dog. Its part of dog ownership 101.

    I commend the person who left the signs. Let all of us responsible and appropriate dog owners take it upon ourselves to be all over those who can’t or won’t clean up.
    Lets’ make it a mission.

    You people who don’t clean up after your dogs should be ashamed of yourselves. You have no community pride and are creating an unhealthy environment for all of us.

  • philica

    What if it wasn’t a dog?

  • Wrennie

    This is slightly off topic, but dog-related: there’s one owner of two small, yappy dogs who walks around my street all the time. Her dogs bark and yap at EVERYTHING. It’s highly annoying. Our neighborhood is full of dogs, and yet you rarely hear dogs barking. This is because most owners are considerate and took the time to train their dogs to not be yappy jerks. Please train your dogs, woman. Thanks.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    I think the talk of fines and enforcement of the law kind of silly. It’s not that the law isn’t being enforced, just that the odds of a cop catching someone in the act are kind of slim, think about it.

    This behavior is just another manifestation of the current social malaise of “I’m the center of the universe f@#k everyone else”.

  • Ari

    Anyone see the absolutely overflowing public garbage cans in the neighborhood this weekend?

    Lisa – clearly there is a plethora of garbage cans in the area. Literally every single one on Hicks between Atlantic and Clark streets (a total of 3 by the way) are overflowing presently overflowing to the point that substantial piles of garbage and bags of dog shit growing around them. Same on Henry street too.

    There are not enough. And those that we do have are not clearly collected frequently enough either.

    Outside of this dog poop discussion, if you think there isn’t a problem in the neighborhood with garbage cans you’re totally delusional.

    Sadly, even if there were one on every single corner, there would still be plenty of people not picking up after their dogs.


  • Carmen

    My 1 year old almost picked those nasty logs up with his hands. That is why it warranted a note. It’s shocking to think that people in our neighborhood are so disrespectful. I have never met a person in my entire life who enjoys stepping in dog shit. Even people who leave their dog shit would be pissed if they had to scrape stinky poop out of their sneaker treads with an old fork or toothpick. It’s better to just throw those shoes away. Are you really going to put them back in your closet? Or what about in your suitcase on your next work trip right next to your toothbrush holder? Those shoes are never the same. They are tainted forever. And to the guy writing about throwing the dog poo in the direction of the violator, yes that is what I will do if I catch someone doing it. I appreciate all the support!

  • bklyn20

    Bewailing the lack of streetcorner cans is not excuse-making. More cans would be better for everyone, and give those useless fools who DON’T pick up after their canines fewer (albeit hogwash-ish) ways to rationalize their lazy inconsiderate behavior.

  • carlotta

    I thought it was the snow that gave people permission to ‘hide’ the poop, but now I see it has become a scourge in this neighborhood.
    ‘Pet’ Peeve – Owners who not only let their dogs make on the sidewalk without picking up, but those who encourage the dogs to make around the base of trees and on whatever patch of grass is available.
    Dogs should be trained to make in the gutter and, of course the owners should be scooping!

  • Damn those Dogs

    Even if you pick up after your dogs, it sucks when you let them crap or pee right in the middle of the sidewalk, then leave a gooey smudge or a spreading puddle.
    It’s just as necessary to avoid stepping in as the full load.

  • Amy

    The amount of dog cr*ap on the sidewalks has definitely been increasing. As a non dog owner (but lover), I find it infuriating to navigate around all the piles and spots of cr*p.

    I’ve been thinking of buying a can of “Silly String” in a neon color and marking each offensive pile I come across for a week. The only thing stopping me is that the rubbery stuff is not environmentally friendly.

    Quite honestly, I think dog owners ought to carry a small bottle of water and dump it on the sidewalk after they pick up — there are always remnants left on the side walk.