Zero tolerance and 10 pounds of poop
I recently participated in a wonderful field botany class which took me to the Arbaney-Kittle trail for the first time. I’ve read the scuttlebutt in the papers lately regarding dogs, leashes, tickets, rangers and poop but until recently had not truly understood the scale of the problem that John Armstrong faces!
Of all the hikers that passed us on the trail during our three-hour class, only one out of 25 dogs were leashed! ONE! None of the owners was seen packing out their dog’s waste. We saw several bags along the side of the trail so perhaps the owners of those bags did dispose of them properly, but I’ll bet those bags are still sitting right where they were left.
Several times we needed to go off the trail to look at a specific plant, and EVERYWHERE we went was literally covered in dog waste! It was disgusting. I’m sure that this is exactly why dog owners refuse to leash their dogs and get so upset when anyone insists that they do. If they don’t see the dog leave a little present, then they don’t have to pick it up.
Instead of handing out tickets for dogs off leash, the owner should be required to pick up 10 pounds of dog waste from the trail (without trampling the vegetation!). No warning, no second chance. You get caught with your dog off leash on any county trail and you have to stop and fill a bag with 10 pounds of poop. That would be a great way to clean the trails! After picking up 10 pounds of poop, most people would think twice before ever letting their dog go off leash again! What do you think? I’d vote for that law.
By the way, even though there is not one single sign, according to the county’s website, the Arbaney-Kittle trail is part of the county trail system and requires that all dogs be on a leash.
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