Neighbors take sides in Normal Heights dog dispute

How soon does owner need to respond?

Don Staples' Stratfordshire bull terrier. “My neighbor only picks up after I see it.”
  • Don Staples' Stratfordshire bull terrier. “My neighbor only picks up after I see it.”

“[Regarding] the neighbor who threw dog poop on another neighbor’s windshield for not cleaning up after their dog,” said Melissa Popovich, “I can understand why a person would get frustrated enough about it.”

Serrano, Barba, and Remy. Barba’s seen a lot of similar confrontations at his North Park apartment and close-by homes.

Serrano, Barba, and Remy. Barba’s seen a lot of similar confrontations at his North Park apartment and close-by homes.

Popovich, 43, from Normal Heights, was referring to two neighbors that recently had a “sticky-situation.”

On May 11, a dog-walker from Cherokee Point, posted on the Nextdoor app that he “forgot to bring the poopy bags” then “oops … the dog pooped.” He said that he hurried back to his car a block away, opened the trunk to find the poop-bag, “he (another resident) then threw the poop on my windshield and ran away.”

Popovich agreed with the poop-slinger and offered advice to the dog-walker. “Come prepared, pick up the poop, [and] stop being lazy,” she said, “knock on a neighbor’s door for a bag.” Her house is by a dirt alley and “people constantly use [it] as a dumping site … [and] people believe it doesn’t require the same responsibility as a lawn or yard does; because it’s an alley.”

Ward Canyon dog park

Ward Canyon dog park

Another neighbor, Kristine W., said that “the reaction of the homeowner was the first I’ve seen, he clearly has issues.”

Kristine, 37, who is a senior assistant with a law firm, felt bad for the dogwalker. “His plan was to go back,” she said, “I wouldn’t even take the time to go back. I would just walk that way for the next walk, then pick up poop.”

This is a common problem in the surrounding neighborhoods according to Giselle Serrano and her boyfriend, Raul Barba. They both live in North Park and visit the Ward Canyon Dog Park (Normal Heights) with their Frenchie named Remy. “I personally pick up others’ dog poop,” Serrano said.

Barba agrees with the “poop-thrower” because he’s seen a lot of similar confrontations at his North Park apartment and close-by homes. “… especially at night when my [dog-walking] neighbors walk and smoke— some never clean s#it,” he said. (The couple had baggies in hand during the interview.)

Don Staples, from Normal Heights, caught wind of of the story. “I don’t believe that he was going back to pick up the poop,” he said. Staples deals with similar problems at his residence by 33rd Avenue, “my neighbor only picks up after I see it,” he said, “I don’t even allow my own dog (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) to poop in my front yard.”

Many of the residents offered proactive solutions by leaving hints in their yards to forewarn the dog walkers: hand sanitizer, a filled doggy bag dispenser, “PLEASE… Clean up after your pet” signs, and obviously mounted recording devices.

“I took photo evidence of the ‘ish,’ the owner, and dog,” said Pat from Cherokee Point. “It’s simple respect for our neighborhood man; if she [the dog owner] allows it again [and does not clean up] — this will be posted on social media.” She’s upset because her toddler plays in their front yard (when it’s poop-free) but still “not mad enough to ‘chuck a poop-bomb'” at the neighbor, because it could possibly constitute as “an assault.”

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I think the City Attorney needs to get together with SDPD and develop a system of enforcement with appropriate fines. This is a problem in my neighborhood and it is the same people all the time. A ticket with a healthy fine would probably change their behavior, disapproval doesn't seem to get their attention. It is a real problem that needs to be addressed, because the next story we read will have a less happy ending until we end up with an assault or a homicide. It is the classic formula for a domestic call that turns bad, ask any cop. Letting landlords turn residential neighborhoods into mini hotels for more money no doubt contributes to this lack of neighborliness. People with roots tend to pay attention to things like this. Renters know they can always move.

I'm just tired of people bringing their dogs to the grocery store. Home Depot, okay, maybe. Your f'ing dog can help you pick out paint colors. But grocery stores, Walmart and Target. Leave your f'ing dog home. Some people even buy fake "service dog" vests on the intenet.

Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. I don't understand the flaunting of public health rules to bring your mutt in the store. What is next? Movie theaters, church, emergency room visit.

Ha! I completely agree with you! We have a dog; we love our dog like he's our baby. He's completely spoiled rotten, sometimes I think he forgets he's a dog. However, we draw the line at subjecting our dog to other people's comfort and safety. We don't take him into stores, unless it's a pet store. Even then, we make sure we've walked him because he is always quite interested in leaving "p mail" for other dogs, and we don't relish being embarrassed. We also never take him to street fairs. #1. He hates crowds and pulls on his leash in an effort to get away. We learned this right after getting him at Helen Woodward, and never, ever take him where there will be a large gathering. Also, #2, his paws. On a hot day (like the NP Festival of the Arts) I don't think it's good for their paws to be on the hot blacktop. Just IMO, of course, but if all dog owners would just remember that loved "baby" of the family is in fact a CANINE, life would be so much easier!

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