“It is estimated that the typical dog excretes between one half to three quarters of a pound of waste per day,” according to the City of San Diego website. “In San Diego alone, there are an estimated 600,000 dogs – that is roughly 136 million pounds of poop per year.”
The report didn’t surprise North Park and Cherokee Point residents.
“I have a cactus plant which I once discovered had been decorated with little blue bags filled with our favorite doggy stomach evacuations (poop),” said Ron Choularton from North Park. “Similar blue bags were found on my neighbor’s upstairs balcony, so it seems on less athletic days, he just flung his unhealthy packages down our rear alley.”
Choularton is the former editor-in-chief of Union Jack, a monthly newspaper featuring news from the United Kingdom that was produced and published here in the U.S. Since July 2016, he’s retired the 34-year-old publication, “to run my Airbnb (front house) and defend it from the attack of the dog feces.”
His other neighbor was recently moving out and “her two dogs just came up on my driveway area and shit all over the place,” he said, “so I yelled over to her and she casually turned and said she’d clean it up, but she didn’t. So I shoveled it up and threw it in her garage.”
We live a few blocks away from Choularton by the Cherokee Point and North Park border, and have a nice lawn that’s been used as a doggie dumping grounds. Our neighbors, although, don’t use the bags, even though they are provided for free of charge along University Avenue between the 805 and 15 Freeways.
“Our businesses, property owners and the contractors servicing the area made us aware of the [problems that you are encountering],” said Enrique Gandarilla from the City Heights Business Association, “six of these pet waste bag stations were installed along the maintenance assessment district.”
The stations, or dispensers, are green metal boxes about two feet tall mounted on street signs. The bags are refilled every three weeks if need be. One is mounted in front of the income tax business by 35th Street.
“Those help us a lot,” said an employee spinning a yellow tax-return sign, “do you see that area with the rocks in front of our business, that place was always full of poo-poo. But now look, it’s clean.”
I saw another dispenser by Swift Avenue, mounted on a pole by the dog grooming business.
“I actually clean up after my own dogs,” said Sarah from North Park, “but I did catch a girl in January that left her large dog poop in our yard. It was caught on our security camera and I actually gave it back to her on her car windshield — with a note.”
Sarah is a 38-year-old esthetician that owns two dogs, Godzilla and Annie. “I feel like people that don’t pick up after their dogs are lazy and inconsiderate and if you handed a bag to them, they wouldn’t care anyways.”
“I noticed it’s cleaner here and we cover the whole University Avenue (between Cherokee Point and North Park),” said an Urban Corps employee that was picking up trash bags on the streets and loading them into their truck. “It’s less work for us.”
Choularton walks all over North Park and said that he’s only noticed “one bag dispenser around my house on Polk Avenue.”
Sarah said that some of her neighbors are not happy when she and her fellow dog-walkers throw their poop-bags inside their trash bins, so she suggested a $10 lock and chain.
“I’m tired of hearing them complain about it,” she said, “I personally don’t care if people throw dog poo in my trash can bagged or unbagged, as long as it’s thrown away.”
According to the city website, the issue is not consolidated to just our neighborhoods, it says: “Dog poop left on the ground is not a small problem. Many people think that when water flows into a storm drain it is treated, but the storm drain system and sewer system are not connected. Everything that enters storm drains flows untreated directly into our creeks, rivers, bays, beaches and ultimately the ocean.”
Last week, a mound of filled poop-bags were left in front of a bag dispenser at the entrance of the Tijuana River Estuary in Imperial Beach.
“Yeah, it’s people making a point in a bad fashion,” said one dog-walker. “They are trying to prove there is not a trashcan near by, which is true and makes no sense. I’m not gonna carry my dog shit like a piece of jewelry while i walk but this is not the correct way to go about it.”