Members of the Mountain House Dog Club held a Poop Awareness Day on Saturday, April 13, on the creek walking trail that runs east-west for a few miles through the community.
Volunteers handed out poop bags to dog walkers to remind them to pick up after their pets, according Fiona Mayne, president of the Mountain House Dog Club.
“It’s a big problem everywhere, but the creek trail seems to be worse than other areas,” she said. “I think a lot of people just are lazy — they don’t see anyone around, they ignore it.”
During a similar event in spring 2011, volunteers removed feces from the trail themselves. Rachel Mullen, a club member, said the abundance of droppings they encountered was startling.
“It was horrible,” she said. “Nobody could believe how much poop there was. It was everywhere. You couldn’t walk down the trail.”
This year, Mayne said the group wanted to empower owners to clean up after their own animals.
Among the dozen dog walkers the group encountered Saturday, Mayne said most were carrying bags.
“One of our biggest goals was to show everyone we are being proactive about this issue,” she said.
The group posted on its website that fecal matter is unsightly and can carry diseases that could harm canines and humans who come in contact with it.
“There definitely should be some enforcement — you really got to catch them or the dog in the act, and that’s pretty difficult,” Mayne said.
Jim Lamb, the vice president of the Mountain House Community Services District board of directors, reminds residents that the community is under the jurisdiction of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
“Technically they (owners) are supposed to walk around with bags, and if their dog does its business, pick it up and dispose of it properly,” he said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia said he wasn’t familiar with a specific ordinance that addressed feces removal, but he noted that an officer who saw a dog owner leaving droppings behind would speak to the person.
“It would take them (MHCSD) to adopt an ordinance, and we would be the one to enforce it,” he said.
For more information on the event or club go to www.mhdogclub.com.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.