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Tag: sidewalk

Do we really need a “war” against dog poop?

In the annals of Gotham’s crimefighting superheroes, Abby Weissman might not go down as one of the all-time greatest.

But at least he will be noted for capturing a dog pooping on camera and, far more important, that doggie’s caretaker not picking it up.

Faster than a speeding bullet, he posted it on Facebook:

 

In the post, Weissman fires a first blow in his quest for justice, and calls upon others to join in fighting the scourge of canine caretakers who don’t pick up after their charges — by submitting photos and videos of scofflaws caught in the act to his block association’s Facebook page.

Weissman is president of the South Oxford Street Block Association in New York’s Fort Greene neighborhood.

The association started a “Dog Walkers Hall of Shame” campaign July 30, after his home security camera captured a dog walker, busy with her cell phone, walking away from the mess the dog had just deposited on the sidewalk in front of his house.

Weissman hopes a little public humiliation will be more effective than the seldom enforced “pooper scooper” law, and its $250 fines.

Since 2013, 63 “pooper scooper” violations have been issued in Brooklyn, DNAInfo reports. An officer must witness the incident to issue a summons, according to the Department of Sanitation.

Weissman, like any good superhero, seemed to take a great deal of pride in catching the scofflaw, at least on video. “We always wanted a photo or video or someone actually letting their dog shit and purposefully leaving it there. Here it is, thanks to Dropcam.”

I’m all for owners taking responsibility for what their dogs drop, and all for laws enforcing that. And I’m fine with fines.

I’m just not so sure we have to view it all in terms of a “war,” and I question whether all the high tech weapons being seized upon — like hidden cameras, and sending dog poop to laboratories to see if its DNA can be matched to a particular dog — are a bit of an over-reaction, better used on terrorists than people who don’t pick up dog poop.

I have a problem with public “shaming,” too — whether it’s being used on deadbeat dads, the customers of prostitutes, or those who fail to pick up dog waste. It reminds me of those stocks and pillories we used to punish wrongdoers in colonial times. I’d like to think we’ve become a little more civilized since then. And I’d like to think we’re smart enough to realize people who engage in shameful behavior often don’t have a huge sense of shame in the first place.

Most of all I’m puzzled about how we let something with such a simple solution become so huge, and gobble up so much time, money and technology. How much is being wasted sending dog waste through the mail for analysis in laboratories? How many hours did Weissman spend watching video to pinpoint the culprit who pooped in front of his house?

Sometimes I think our species is prone to escalating anything that can possibly escalated.

Perhaps a psychologist could explain that to me.

In the meantime, can’t we all just pick it up?

Expressing yourself, doggie style

As was the case with our kudzu dogs, this one requires just a squirt of imagination.

Ace and I were walking the streets of downtown Missoula when we saw a chocolate Labrador stopping to pee — well, not really stopping at all, which was the interesting part.

For almost half a block, he zig-zagged along the sidewalk, leaving a squiggly trail behind him.

Perhaps he, or his owner, had no time to stop — maybe the human had an urgent appointment, or maybe the dog had a weak bladder; or maybe, just maybe, the dog was expressing himself in the other meaning of the phrase.

Maybe he’d discovered a way around not being able to speak human — and it’s just a case of no one having discovered his amazing ability yet.

Sure, it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s see what happens when we turn it sideways.

Don’t bother moving your computer; allow me:

If I’m not mistaken, it spells Missoula, Montana.

Frozen dog is happier, lighter a year later

jiffyJiffy — an obese border collie mix found frozen to the sidewalk a year ago in Wisconsin — is 40 pounds lighter, a good deal warmer and living with a new family.

Adopted last spring by Patty and Peter Geise, the elderly dog didn’t suffer any lasting injuries from the incident, but it did lead to his previous owner relinquishing her ownership of the dog, the Sheboygan Press reports.

“He’s moving like a regular dog again,” said Patty Geise. Jiffy weighed 116 pounds then, about three times what he should. He’s now down to 76 pounds.

He’s still overweight, but nothing like he was in December 2008, when he arrived at the Sheboygan County Human Society shelter, where Patty Geise volunteers.

He had been found frozen to a sidewalk after being left outside overnight in single-digit temperatures after his owner couldn’t get him back inside the house. His girth turned out to be friend and foe. It contributed to him getting stuck to ground, but his layers of fat also are believed to have kept him warm enough to survive.

His former owner was charged with  intentionally mistreating animals following the incident, but the charge was later dismissed. The owner had tried to bring the dog inside, called 911 seeking help, put a blanket over Jiffy, and checked him periodically through the night.

After reports about the incident, the humane society was contacted by hundreds of people from as far away as Spain, all wanting to adopt Jiffy.

(Photo: Geise walks with Jiffy; by Gary C. Klein/The Sheboygan Press)

Owner of dog who froze to sidewalk cited

A Sheboygan, Wisconsin woman has been cited for animal neglect after leaving her overweight dog outdoors in single-digit temperatures, where it froze to a sidewalk but survived.

Shelter workers say Jiffy, who remains in their custody, was left in frigid weather last week but the “morbidly obese” (120 pounds) border collie was protected by layers of insulating fat.

Police issued 59-year-old Alice Bigler an ordinance violation for animal neglect. A misdemeanor animal neglect charge could be filed Dec. 22, when Bigler is scheduled to appear in court.

A number for Bigler was disconnected. It wasn’t immediately known whether she had a lawyer, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, also in Sheboygan, police arrested a 37-year-old man Tuesday, who is accused of abandoning a sickly pit bull by leaving it tied to a pole in an alley. A nearby resident saw the dog and called authorities, according to another Associated Press report.

According to police, the dog was extremely underweight and had frostbite on its front paws, front legs and left ear. The dog is expected to recover.

Bad dog owner of the month award

Jiffy the border collie mix is safe and warm and temporarily residing at a Wisconsin humane society after spending last Wednesday night frozen to the sidewalk outside his home.

The dog, 11-years-old and 70 pounds overweight, was let outside by his owner. Neighbors say she tried to get him up from the sidewalk but couldn’t, TV station WTOL reported. So she left him there.

After a concerned neighbor called police the next morning, shelter workers arrived and poured warm water over Jiffy’s back end to unstick him from the sidewalk, said Carey Payne of the Sheboygan County Humane Society.

Jiffy’s 59-year-old owner was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of animal neglect, Sheboygan Police Lt. Tim Eirich said. The woman, who was not identified by name, told police she checked on him every few hours.

The dog’s extra weight might have kept him alive, officials at the humane society said. The dog weighs 116 pounds–70 pounds more than he should.

“I think the extra layer of fat he has kept him insulated,” Payne said. The organization has received about a half dozen calls from people who want to adopt him.