The signs “Post No Bills,” “Active Driveway” and “Alternate Side Parking” are all fairly common and relatively self-explanatory in urban settings. Other equally common signs we see in suburban communities throughout the U.S. related to pets are: “Curb Your Dog,” “Please Clean Up After Your Dog,” or “All Pets Must Be on a Leash.”
Well, in South Florida it all depends on the town you live in and sadly, while the ordinance that deals with picking up after your pet varies little from neighborhood to neighborhood, the signage and cleanliness of the sidewalks certainly can and do vary. This variance in pet waste has to do with a few factors: The number of dog-friendly buildings in one area, proximity to green spaces and dog runs, and the all-important “responsibility quotient” of dog owners in the community. All it takes is for a few individuals to start the downward spiral of pet owners not picking up after their pets and it becomes a messy problem, so to speak, creating a rift between those who love animals and those who don’t.
While it may be hard for dog lovers to believe there are people out there who are either indifferent to or even have a dislike for dogs, it's important to respect the fact that they do indeed exist and as such, try to respect them while taking their dogs for a stroll or to do their “business” outing.
Pick It Up
When responsible owners take their dogs out to do their business, it’s a fairly routine process. Start with “curbing your dog.” This generally means bringing your dog to the curb to do their business. It’s a wonderful sentiment and actually works fairly often, but it is not foolproof. When curbing is not an option the next best thing is to (at least) guide them to a spot that is as out of the way as possible and hopefully they will do their “thing” there. Dogs, however, are no different than their owners in that when nature calls, nature calls and it is not always in the most convenient or inconspicuous spot. When this happens, the appropriate thing for the owner to do is clean up everything that is “removable” and continue on. Obviously, the irresponsible thing is to leave it there for some poor soul to step into.
There are some serious consequences to not picking up after your pet. Health hazards such as Campylobacteriosis, a bacterial infection that causes diarrhea in humans can be found in dog feces. Salmonellosis, the most common bacterial infection transmitted to humans from animals whose symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headaches and vomiting; and toxocarisis, roundworms that are transmitted from animals to humans also can be found in dog waste.