Greensboro, NC -- Whether you have a dog or not, you probably have an opinion on whether people should have to pick up after their pet.
Some homeowners associations have rules about it. But does their rule really hold any power over you? Attorney Robert O'Hale of Clifford, Clendenin, O'Hale answered these questions.
*Can your homeowner's really do anything to you if you don't pick up after your dog?
*What if I'm the neighbor who is mad? If I put up a "look who isn't playing by the rules" flyer on the street signs (like they do for lost dogs) can that get me in legal trouble?
Alison Schwartz from All Pets Considered answered these questions:
*Some people would say...what's the big deal?
Alison said, "There are many reasons why cleaning up after your pet is a good idea and the reasons do not cease just because your pet is no longer in your own yard. First of all, it is just nice manners to do this because who wants to step in poop running through a yard? It is frustrating and time consuming to clean poop off shoes - and certainly not fair for the individual who did not own the pet that made the mess. Feces can spread disease both to other animals and to humans. Lots of bacteria live in the intestines as well as parasites - should another animal or human encounter your pet's waste, it can get sick from things such as Giardia, hookworms, E. Coli, or Salmonella as just a few examples (and just because your pet might not be sick in your own mind does not mean your pet is not a carrier of these bacteria). Also, flies lay their eggs in feces and the feces gives a place for fly larvae to live until they become adult flies - and who does not want to cut down on the fly population?"
*How do you get people to do this? Is shaming them the answer? What has worked in your experience?
Schwartz said shaming rarely works in any situation in life and we really do not think that any form of shaming will encourage owners to do the right thing. We recommend a friendly conversation and perhaps bringing with you poop bags and a dispenser as a good gesture present to discuss with your neighbor. We have had many customers come in and purchase poop bags for neighbors to help curb the issues. We also can order signs that can be displayed in your yard to encourage neighbors to clean up after their pets. Taking it even a step further, you could provide a poop bag dispenser in your yard for those persons who might be walking and forgot a bag.
WFMY News 2