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I Need Your Help . . . Dealing With Irresponsible Pet Owners

Turns out it's not just pet owners leaving doodoo on the sidewalk, but other places pups play as well. A TeamSugar user wrote in about this problem encounter:

I like to run every day and often I run on the track at my local public high school. There are way more dog walkers than joggers there! While I don't have a problem with dogs, the vast majority of them are not on leashes. Over a year ago while I was running there a dog came charging at me and I thought it would dodge or run alongside me, but it ran straight into me and knocked me over! I was fine and the owner apologized and was very concerned. What if I had been an elderly person? I could have gotten hurt.

The other problem is that most of the dog owners don't carry poop bags and there's a lot of doggy doo on the football field. I doubt the high school would be happy to get a call about the matter, but it's unlikely that they'll do anything. I sometimes want to tell dog owners to put their dogs on a leash, but that feels like it would be rude and there are so many irresponsible dog owners doing this. And there's no way of knowing which dog exactly is pooping on the field. What should I do?

I'm assuming this isn't officially a dog-friendly space, but I know from experience that makeshift dog runs turn up in the most surprising spots in places with limited fenced-in areas or safe parks – there's a tennis court near my apartment that's commonly used for this. It may be a problem for the officials, but please share any tips in your comments below.

Join The Conversation
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 9 years
I went camping in Yosemite a few weeks ago with my dog, and at the campsite there were a couple other dogs as well. I was walking my dog, when out of no where comes this lab mix and starts growling at my dog. My dog is a little leash aggressive, but he calms down when you give him commands. Anyways, this dog is growling at me and I see people collecting wood in the forest, so I call out to them and say hey your dog is over here. After calling her dog a few times, he finally turns around and goes back to her. She says she has the dog with her to protect her from bears. I gave her an "are you stupid" look, and said, yeah well you're supposed to have your dog on a 6 foot leash. I have no problem telling people they are in the wrong when they obviously are. I think you should say something. Or at least contact the high school. They would probably put up signs and increase patrol of the area for a while.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I see irresponsible dog owners all the time in my neighborhood. Mostly it's leash law violations...several times I've been out walking Scout on her leash and some random dog will charge across the street and start barking at her. She'd never start a fight, but I'm afraid of dogs biting her. My usual tactic is to go over to the owner and say "You know, you should really keep him on a leash. I'd hate to see him get hit by a car or something". That usually works because it's not so mean-sounding and it alerts the owner to the fact that what they're doing is unsafe for all parties involved.
raeleerobot raeleerobot 9 years
I need help as well! My friend is an irresponsible pet owner and she won't listen to my pleas. Her dog is a french bulldog-pyrenian mountain dog mix (cute, but because of the mix I feel like he might have some serious wiring issues up there). He has no idea how big he is and she never has him on a a park in the middle of seattle-- no fence! she never carries bags and even when she does, often doesn't pick up after her dog. He's constantly running and jumping on people, even knocking over small children and crashing picnics! He's out of control, any suggestions?
ranksubjugation ranksubjugation 9 years
Do they have leash laws where you are? If so, maybe you can call the cops anonymously... I know it sounds drastic to get POLICE involved, but an unleashed dog is a legitimate danger. I'm not saying to get anyone arrested, but maybe someone could post a sign threatening tickets and fines?
Rally-RE Rally-RE 9 years
i always carry extra poop bags and if i ever see someone not picking up after their dog i will happily offer them a bag. for dogs off leash - i don't know what to do about that - i agree with kiwitwist re: how it can end up in a huge confrontation. when i told my old next door neighbor his pits needed to be on leash out front (after one attacked my sheltie) he told me absolutely not! it's the idiots in this world who have their dogs off leash and don't care.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I think that you should absolutely contact the high school about both leash and poo issues. For liability reasons alone, it is in their best interest to address the matter as they see fit.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I feel your pain. My dog was attacked by another dog that wasn't leashed. Since mine was, she couldn't get away. I ended up on my butt, tangled up in a leash with a pyscho dog attacking my dog. Long story short, my dogs are now never taken for walks do to incompetence of others. But in your situation, I don't know what you should do. If you say anything it could turn in to a HUGE confrontation.
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