Managers, residents, owners; have you ever stepped in dog poop while walking a property? The distaste for it on your shoe is a much larger problem than just poop shoe and it impacts your business and even your families wellbeing.
After retiring with over 32 years in the property management & accounting fields, dog poop became my full time job and boy oh boy have I learned a lot about doggie doodie, pun intended! I am the owner of Bybypoo Dog Waste Clean Up Service.
Seeing my fair share of unhappy residents coupled with my old school customer service beliefs; I asked how can we educate our community & managers and help them with resident retention & maintain an enticing curb appeal, if we don’t solve the dog poop problem on our properties? After decades why is this still an issue? As Einstein said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Pet owners are responsible for ensuring the waste is picked up but we know that doesn’t always happen. Tampa Bay Estuary “estimates 40% of pet owners do not pick up after there pets”. So who's responsible to clean up the piles left behind?
World Population states that there are “980,810 people living in Pinellas County Florida”. Approximately 372,707 people own at least 1 dog in Pinellas. “Now while 1 dogs excrement doesn’t seem like a lot, 274 pounds of poop does and that’s approximately how much 1 - 40lb dog expels per year”.
Quite staggering that 148,960 dog owners are not picking up after their dogs every single day & that’s just in Pinellas County!
Did you know that just 1 tiny ounce of dog feces has 23 million fecal coliform bacteria? That’s twice as much as human waste. That bacteria & E. Coli seeps through the ground when it rains & travels into our waterways through groundwater. “The additional nitrogen contributes to algae growth” also known as red tide.
The outcome is: beaches shut down, marine life dies, our drinking water may become contaminated & hookworms, roundworms and other parasites may infect humans and children.
When pet owners don’t pick up after their pets who’s ultimately responsible to get it off the ground?
David an employee of Bybypoo lived on an HOA and stated “HOA’s are quick to fine you for minor violations and while they do empty the pet stations; there are minefields all over that are never addressed". David moved elsewhere in 2022.
Cheresse Rehart owner of Yard Guards on Doody lovingly known as the Poo Guru has been in the scooping business since 2003 “In 2008 there was a mission to educate the public about dog waste and that quickly fizzled out. Since then the importance of picking up dog poop has been lost because there is very little education about it. It has become our responsibility as professional scoopers to educate the general public. I have found that new construction automatically has a plan in place to solve this issue proactively. But the older communities are reluctant to spend money on cleaning it up” says Rehart.
To answer the question; the responsibility falls on HOA’s, property owners & apartment managers to enforce their pet policy. Ensuring all residents are enjoying their community and enforcing policy & laws, regardless of their pet ownership, is their fiduciary duty.
Let’s keep ourselves as owners & Board members out of deep doo doo!
Here are a few steps HOA’s can take to ensure properties stay within City, State and EPA ground contamination laws:
a. At move-in a sample of the dogs DNA is taken through a mouth swab at the cost of the resident.
b. On the managers daily property walks take your kit & get a nickel sized sample and send to the DNA service. They provide the name of the residents in violation.
At the end of the day we as community leaders, Board members and property owners must take action to ensure our drinking water, marine life, and waterways are not polluted while also ensuring our children can play outside without getting sick.
https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/reports-statistics/us-pet-ownership-statistics - American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA)
https://tbep.org/scoop-that-poop/ Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP)
https://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/files/NJ_Petwaste.pdf Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
https://amp.bradenton.com/latest-news/article239807493.html Bradenton Herald
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