Not on my lawn - if it's your dog, it's your poop

Nedra Rhone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Lifestyles

When I became a dog owner, I invested time and energy in making sure I understood best practices for dog parenting — especially when it comes to disposing of dog poop.

This was an area of focus for me, largely because I had been on the receiving end of actions from people who don’t seem to give a crap about where their animals take a crap.

One neighbor would routinely let her dog use my mailbox as a pooping post and leave his special delivery waiting for me.

Another time, I arrived home to find three strangers standing on my lawn (not the sidewalk) while they talked and let their dogs go poo. Only one of them bothered to pick up the waste. I stood in shocked silence as they walked away without a hint of shame.

There are a few things that most of us dog owners should agree on as a matter of etiquette. If your dog poops in public places or in any place that does not belong to you, you should pick it up.

But what to do with dog waste once it has been properly picked up and bagged has become a point of contention in many metro Atlanta neighborhoods.


The topic makes frequent appearances on neighborhood chat forums. Someone usually kicks off the conversation by posting a variation of the question: Is it OK to leave a bag of dog poop in your neighbor’s trash bin?

I map my dog walking routes based on where I know there are public trash cans. And, when I don’t take those routes, I carry the poop bags back to my house. I don’t understand the many arguments people make to justify using someone else’s trash can for their dog’s poop. If it’s so offensive that you can’t wait to dispose of it at your house, why would you think I want it at my house?

On a recent thread, one neighbor said he takes his dog on hour-long walks and doesn’t think he should have to carry a bag full of poop for that long, so he drops poop bags in residential trash cans along the way.

He tells neighbors who don’t have dogs and may not want dog poop in the trash bin to get over it or call their congressman.


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