Pushed Over the Edge

These fliers are up and down Taylor St, NW in Petworth. Now let me be clear – dog crap that is not picked up is disgusting and extremely frustrating. But my question is – do you think the offender will actually stop and read the flier/threat and say, “oh, I didn’t realize I should clean up my dog’s crap” and change their behavior? Personally, I think these fliers are also a bit ugly and an eyesore. Do you think putting up fliers like this an effective way to deal with a frustrating problem – or do the signs actually become an eyesore themselves?

101 Comment

  • Too many words, waste of paper and ink

    another great DC candidate for passiveaggressivenotes.com

  • It’s not that the offender doesn’t know s/he is supposed to pick up their dog’s crap, it’s that s/he thinks they can get away with not doing it. So a public shaming may be the only thing that will actually work. I don’t mind the flyers as long as they’re taken down if/when they start to fall apart. I much prefer temporary flyers to piles of dog shit, personally.

    • Agreed. This person is at least doing something rather than just seeing a problem and not doing anything. I do think it’s important that he or she take them down within a few days, though.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      It’s not a public shaming unless you post a photo of the dog owner. This is just posting a photo of dog crap. And sadly, nobody takes down these signs.

      • Someone should put up more signs about this person putting up the dog crap signs and not taking them down.

      • Exactly what I was thinking – I’d like to see a picture of the offending dog owner!

      • It’s a public calling-out of the person who’s not picking up after their dog–obviously they don’t know who it is or else, as promised by the flyer, they’d have been bringing all the dog shit to that person’s yard. Maybe it’ll get the message across, maybe it won’t, but what the heck else do you recommend trying when you have no idea who’s responsible? They’re ugly, sure, but so are piles of dog shit. And I’d be willing to bet that if this person is so annoyed and offended by piles of dog crap, they’re probably annoyed by ratty, falling apart flyers on lampposts and would take them down if and when this guy starts picking up his dog’s crap.

        We pick up other dogs’ crap AND take down ratty flyers, but we try to be good neighbors like that.

        • +1.
          PoP, what would you suggest someone do instead? Sit and stew angrily about it?
          Assuming the person doesn’t know who’s doing this, the sign is the only way of letting the offender know that they are ticked off about it. No, it may not change anybody’s behavior, but at least now they know. What they do from that point on is a factor of how much of a jerk they wanna be, knowing that the neighbors hate it.

          By your reasoning, why would we ever say anything to anyone when something they are doing bothers us? If it won’t change their behavior, what’s the point, right?

          • The sign is bad because it is completely ineffective – too wordy, not graphic, whiny & kind of obnoxious. I always pick up my dog poop, seeing un-picked up dog poop makes me rage, but this sign makes me want to poop on their doorstep myself.

            What would I suggest? An EFFECTIVE sign. A photo of a toddler stepping in dog poo. A photo of old granny getting out of the car with her walker stepping on dog poo. A law requiring anyone walking a dog to always have a poop bag on their immediate person or get a $50.00 fine.

    • You should see the hostility when you call people out on not picking up after their dogs. I have a dog and I always pick up after him and it pisses me off when I see piles of poop around, not just because it gives all dog owners a bad rap, but also because it’s dirty, disgusting, and irresponsible.

      I once handed a poop bag to some dude who didn’t pick up after his dog. He threw it back in my face and told me that if I didn’t like it, I could clean it up. I handed it back to him and he said – it’s lucky you’re a girl or I’d beat the shit out of you. I backed down and picked up the poop once he turned the corner of the block and couldn’t see me do it.

      Awesome. People like that suck. And I wish I knew how to fix it.

      • I hear you. I pick up after my dog, and I hate it when other dog owners refuse to do so. Some day, when I catch them in the act, I’m going to pick up their dog’s shit and throw it at them.

      • What you should have done was not confront him and taken a picture of him not picking up after his dog. If you know where he lives, get his address and send the picture to DPW along with his address.

        • clearly this was done b/c the person doesn’t know who it is and didn’t see it happen. I’m pretty sure even the shyest of people would say something if it bothered them this much and they saw it happen.

      • What a chode – I don’t understand why someone WOULDN’T pick up after their dog. Especially when there’s other people around. Yeah, picking up poop is gross, but if you don’t like it…maybe you shouldn’t get a dog? I love dogs but I could never wake up in the morning and take a dog out to pee first thing in the morning, SOOO I don’t have a dog. There’s no way this guy doesn’t know that picking up after his dog is the law/the societally acceptable thing to do, so the only reason I have left to justify his action is that he is a gigantic tool.

        Ugh. This is making me more angry than it probably should.

  • The issue of poop is something that seems to have fallen between the cracks.

  • The law is stupid. How are dog owners supposed to a.) keep dogs from urinating in public and b.) remove the urine when the dog breaks the law?

    • I think they’re talking about #2 not #1

      • The law says urine, too.

        • I had a friend who used to live in a high traffic part of Dupont with her dog…when he’d pee on the sidewalk, she used a little water from a water bottle to dilute it so that it didn’t smell & most of it would go into the grass or gutter. I always thought that was extremely considerate, but hardly something you could require everyone to do.

  • Something really needs to be done about all the dog crap everywhere that people don’t pick up. I mean seriously. I stepped in a pile yesterday when I was walking my own dog. It is so freaking nasty!

    I am really getting to the point that I may start picking up after other people’s dogs. I mean WTF else can I do?

    • My dog stepped in dog poop someone neglected to pick up the other day. Let me tell you, that was fun to clean off her paw–luckily, there were still puddles from the rain and I made her walk through every one as we made our way home, so that helped. I hate lazy pet owners.

    • I’ve lived here since February and encountered my first pile of errant poop a week and a half ago– I guess I have a lot of responsible dog owners in my neighborhood. Since I was walking my own dogs at the time and already had the bags with me, I picked it up so no one would step on it. Sometimes I do that with litter too. Maybe it’s a little OCD of me, but I feel like my neighborhood is nearly an extension of my home, so I try to make it neat and presentable.

  • The worst is when someone’s dog craps on the sidewalk, not even in the grass, but right in the middle of the sidewalk, and they LEAVE it there.


  • Find out where they live, pick up their dog’s poop and start leaving it on their front porch!– As a responsible dog owner who picks up after their pet, it truly baffles me that someone responsible enough to care for a pet (ie take them on daily walks) could feel no sense of responsiblity for cleaning up after them.

  • Fun Fact! Rats love dog poop, more than just about anything else. So by not picking up after your dog, you’re feeding rats. Well done non-dog-poop-picker-ups!

  • As a non-pet owner I do find it really frustrating to have to constantly pick up dog crap in my front and back green spaces. I don’t think those signs are particularly effective, but talking to people isn’t always the silver bullet either. We’ve talked to one of our alley neighbors several times about her pet care. Rather than walking the dog she just opens the back door and let’s it outside–they don’t have a fence, just a concrete driveway, so Rocky just pads on over to our tiny bit of grass, shits, pisses on our air conditioner and scampers back home. Routinely.

    We’ve planted 3 different plants along our front walk only to have each only slowly killed off by a constant stream of dog urine. The man at the garden center said regardless of what soil we use and how well we water it, the constant piss feedings are going to kill whatever we put there. Awesome.

    Oh, and did I mention we live around the corner from a brand new dog park, a place where responsible dog owners could take their pets. Dogs are a lot of responsibility and it’s a shame when people don’t own up to those. It’s creates a really shitty situation–for everyone.

    • A – had this same problem. Go to Home Depot, and get this stuff called Critter Ridder. It’s a spray bottle of concentrated pepper, which won’t hurt dogs, but they don’t like it – makes them sneeze. I’ve been using it all summer, and our neighborhood dog offender is no longer pooping in my yard.

    • Most people are not qualified to properly take care of a dog. Even fewer people are capable of taking care of a dog in an urban environment. I love dogs, but am so frustrated by people who choose to own one at the expense of the dog and their neighbors.

  • Who cares about dogs, what are we supposed to do about all the horse shit around from MPD and USPP horses? 1 horse deuce is like 27 dog deuces.

    I mean I see that shit everywhere. On the streets, on the Mall where I’m trying to run and walk and in parks WHERE THERE ARE CHILDREN!!!1! WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?.

    Where can I write a passive aggressive note about that? Will Cathy Lanier read it you think? Should I call 311 and bitch?

  • There were a couple of piles strung out along the sidewalk on 14th St. by Chipotle and Starbucks the other day. I think it’s left by people who are not happy about their lot in life and choose to raise the finger to those who are faring a little better. Thus, the nasty responses when confronted about it.

  • You should all go voice your greivances down at freedom plaza today. I hear they’re protesting just about anything down there that falls under the umbrella of “we’re f—ing fed up”.

  • If I were riding by on my bike and I saw someone “forget” to pick up after their dog, I’d probably put the dog in a puddle and get the owner in a choke hold. That’ll teach ’em.

  • I’m a dog owner. When I used to live in New York, they raised the max fine from $150 to $1,500 for not picking up your dog poop.

    There ended up being a lot less piles around. Those signs did the trick.

    • That’s what will be effective. Huge fines available under the law, and one cop a day who is tasked to go out and nail a few a-hole dog owners. You get 2-3 $1000 fines, or 5-6 $500 fines, and it’s all justified and cost effective. Good for the city’s coffers, good for the city’s cleanliness, and good deterrence for all the a-holes who think that it’s OK to conduct their dog ownership that way.

      • I think that the cops have more to do than worry about who picks up dog crap.

        • It wouldn’t have to be a police officer. Could be a DPW task force – or the same people who write parking tickets.

          • I would not provide my license to any person except to a police officer because I have to – so how would they know who you are?

            When littering fines are 1000$ a pop, I will support the same for dog poop.

            When speeding fines are $500 per MPH over the limit, I will glady support 1000$ fines for dog poop.

  • andy

    Be a little less passive in your aggression. Shovel poop into paper bag, pitch onto offending neighbor’s porch.

  • Poop Flags would be more appropriate. Not sure if they’d shame people like the ones anon11:44 encountered, but at least future pedestrians would know to look out.

  • Well, as a dog owner who HAS been confronted several times by folks in Petworth to make sure I pick up after my dog (I always do), I can appreciate how folks don’t want pet waste in front of their house. Rats being just one of the nasty side effects. In the interest of being a good neighbor, anyone who walks a dog in the neighborhood should just follow DPW’s guidelines for responsible “Doggy Duties”:

    One guy went so far to tell me that it was illegal to let my dog poop on public property even IF I cleaned it up, and that ‘white folks have to follow the same rules as black folks’. I just said, “absolutely, sir” and continued on my way.

    Come to think of it, that exchange may NOT have had as much to do with pet care as I originally thought…

  • I hate having to pick up all the litter that people discard along my block… but threads like this make me feel fortunate that the area scofflaws are leaving behind only litter and not dog poop too.

    It’s frustrating. I doubt that the offender is going to see the flyer and change his/her behavior. And anyone who challenges someone not picking up litter, poop, etc. is likely to be cursed at and maybe threatened.

  • Maybe it is not dog poop.

  • I once called out a guy for not picking up his dog’s poop, and his response was, “have you seen how much dog poop is there (in that particular tree box)?” Umm, yes, asshole, there’s a lot there because douchebags like you don’t pick it up. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take his picture. I’ve resolved to do so in the future and post it wherever I can.

  • I am a scooper! But, in recent weeks a lot of folks haven’t cut the grass next to the sidewalks, and the grass got really high with all the rain. It gets dark early now, so it can be hard to capture every turd. I know I’ve left behind a few stinkers. It’d help if folks cut the grass.

    Dog owners don’t want their dogs getting sick and the vast majority scoop. And, yes, we do tend to pick up the stray turds even when left by other people’s dogs.

    • My dogs have a penchant for going in tangles of ivy, and it is so hard fishing around for it. Lately it’s still been dark when I take them out in the morning, which makes things especially difficult,

      • Yeah it’s harder in the winter. I just recently attached a little flashlight to my backpack so I can see the poop when we go to the park in the evening…otherwise I’d be an offender!

      • Couldn’t you try to keep them from nosing about in ivy, then, so that it doesn’t become an issue?

    • anon. gardener

      seriously y’all – a flashlight? i’ve got a flashlight app on my phone, which comes in handy when i’m looking for that one last little bit that i know my dog squeezed off. and i am 85% successful in not letting him go in the really tall stuff. amazing what a yank on the leash will do.

      • I’m sure a flashlight works for some people, but I can’t use it while controlling two dogs and holding a bag (I’ve dropped and broken several that way).

        • Also my dog is sneaky and poops while he still has his leg lifted to pee… so I usually can’t pull him away in time.

        • How about the kind you wear on your head? You might look like a coal miner, but wouldn’t it solve the problem?

          • Eh, I’d rather just spend an extra 30 seconds digging around in the ivy for it. 🙂 It’s not like it’s much easier to see in daylight.

          • anon. gardener

            that is brilliant! I think i might try that when it really gets to be dark and wintry.

    • wow. there’s no justification for this. take your dog to poop somewhere else if you can’t clean it up. especially if you are not the one cutting the grass, you probably shouldn’t be shitting in the box that somebody else has to take care of.

      • So don’t take your dogs on walks on sidewalks that might run alongside a yard with grass?? Good luck with that! I guess driving out to a suburban parking lot is always an option.

        • you sound like one of those people whose dogs are not trained. it’s not hard to continue walking or modify their route. you train them where to stop on their walk that the community has decided it is okay for them to poop, i.e. a dog park or other strip of land that the neighbors already use.


    I actually got a thank you from a woman in Petworth the other day when I cleaned up after my dog. I got a friendly good morning, you have a cute dog, and thank you for picking up after her.

    As she was walking away I could hear her “Lord knows nobody else is pickin’ up after their damn dogs…”

    • I often get thank you’s too. A few weeks ago a guy was outside watering his plants with a watering container (not the hose). My dog pooped about a house down between the sidewalk and the street. He wasn’t feeling well and the poop was more diarrhea than anything else. I picked up what I could and asked the guy if I could borrow his water can. He refilled it for me and was so appreciative that I was worried about the remnants. If he wasn’t there I would have gone back with a water bottle and watered down the area.

      Dog poop is just so disgusting. Honestly, I think picking up after him is probably the most annoying part of owning a dog. But it HAS to be done, like it or not. I hate it so much that I kinda go out of my way to make sure others don;t have to deal with his poop too!

  • I don’t know, maybe putting up these flyers will help the ignorant that don’t know about this law. It’s worth a shot. Sometimes people are just clueless – like the people that insist on taking a left from Taylor onto Arkansas, even though there are 2 signs noting it’s illegal in the morning. There was a cop there today, and he had 3 people pulled over, handing out tickets to offenders, and a 4th person was trying to make the same turn.

  • I pick up after other people because I want to continue to enjoy my dog within the city limits. I Fear these types (flyer, etc) of responses as I believe they are invitations for more rules and regulations that are monitored and enforced haphazardly by our local police. Have you connected with your neighbors? Have they seen the culprit? I always carry extra bags with me and offer them freely when i see someone backing away from “their” pile. It’s interesting to realize what a core group of likeminded
    individuals can achieve when they self-regulate their neighborhood. The family two houses down from me received about a week’s worth of their black lab’s bowels on their front lawn with a note from a few neighbors. The effect has so far stuck for the past few months. Please, direct your actions head-on….don’t shy behind a snarky flyer….you will accomplish nothing.

  • Rub the dog-owners’ face in it?

  • I was concerned about the amount of dog waste not being picked up in this under used lot where I would take my own dog, so I bought one of those “please scoop the poop/dog waste contaminates water” signs that some churches and playgrounds use. I thought it was to the point and hopefully would make people consider the ramifications. I’m not sure how effective it was (the lot is no longer open to the public) however it kept me from stalking the area to catch dog owners in the act.

  • Waaaaaaaaa.

    Watch where you are going and you won’t step in shit.

    • Presumably this dismissive remark will soon be followed by something along the lines of “… and if you don’t like it, go move to Reston.”

      • I used to live in the NoVA suburbs, and believe me, people were a lot worse about picking up after their dogs out there. I think the lack of public trashcans had a lot to do with it. Of course, aside form the dog walkers and occasionaly jogger no one walked anywhere, so I guess it wasn’t a huge concern.

  • I’m a scooper ALWAYS with my own pug. But I frequently watch/walk/sit my friend’s pitbull mix. Not only is that dog’s shit the size of both my hands (therefore requiring multiple poobags) but it’s also often has loose(r) bowels than my pug. I hate picking up the steaming pile of poo especially on cold winter days. But I do try.

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