Monday, February 25, 2008

A real problem, but is it real poison?

Came across this sign Sunday at the start of the Red Rock Canyon Trail in Red Rock Canyon Open Space. No doubt there are scores of off-leash dogs in the park. Even worse, there is an endless amount of un-scooped dog poop. Perhaps to battle this, the sign was put up. But is there actually poison bait that is bad for dogs but somehow OK for wildlife? Most visitors, if you can judge by whether they leashed their dogs, didn't seem convinced. I suspect this was put up by a well meaning park regular, and is not a city program. We'll find out.


AndyW said...

Wish I'd thought of that, although a simple "video surveillance" warning might have been more effective.

Anonymous said...

Why do some people (a tiny minority) get so worked up about off leash dogs? Do they get mad when they see a fox or deer too? Is it a fear of dogs? I don't leash my dog and only 2 people in 5 years has even seemed to care. If that's my offense rate I'm doing pretty good!

I'd probably react the the poisoning of my dog the way parents would to purposeful the poisoning of their children...

Willy Wonka said...

"Safe for other wildlife?"

What? Did they put bars of chocolate out?

Anonymous said...

I think people get worked up about off leash dogs because they can get ahead and out of site of the owner, then crap on the trail. Then the owner may walk by it and think it's from some other dog. But if you're one of those cool people who picks up all the dog crap they see on a trail, then most will be cool with you not using a leash.

As far as the others, yes, I think it's fear of dogs. You never know how a strange dog will react as some dogs can be wild and aggressive. I doubt they react the same way to a deer, but I bet they're afraid of foxes, coyotes or bears - they don't get mad, because no one owns those animals. No one can control a wild animal. An owner can control their dog and can chose to use a leash. I think it's also the type of dog - chiweenie, you're probably ok. I bet you'd get wildly different reactions if you had a pitbull - which can be more dangerous and also leaves bigger turds.

Dave Philipps said...

For me, there are a number of issues.
First: It's the rules. I'm not saying you have to follow every rule, but if you don't, dogs may be banned from areas entirely.
Second: Not everyone's dogs are good off leash.
Third, and maybe unrelated: the poop. Pick it up.
Forth: off-leash dogs can terrorize the wildlife.

Anonymous said...

My feeling is that we live in a "FREE" country and that should apply to humans as well as dogs.

I almost feel that it should be illegal to leash dogs in wild areas as dogs are animals and deserve to be free just as all animals are.

However, I do understand that dogs interact with wildlife and in some cases this is not ideal. So, my belief would be that in areas that we deem extremely ecologically sensitive we ban humans as well as dogs because for goodness sakes I know of a lot more humans that leave nasty shit behind than "Fido".

I might even be in favor of putting a leash on whomever put that sign up and yanking them away from all the beautiful sites, sounds, and smells open to us at Red Rock Open Space. Then maybe we throw a little poison in the mix and see how they feel. KHARMA?

AndyW said...

And it's probably worth reminding anonymous No. 1 that there was apparently no actual poison involved.

And, on off-leash dogs, case in point: I was running down Barr Trail yesterday and an adorable little husky puppy started following me. And following me. And following me. And, lest he end up at my car instead of his owners, I stopped, grabbed him by the collar and (gently) walked him back up to his owners. It wasn't the end of the world, but it was an annoying interruption to my run and, if the puppy had gotten lost, could have turned out pretty sad for his owners, too.

AndyW said...

"Deserve to be free just as all animals are."

That crap just pisses me off. My dog is my responsibility. If he bites someone, that's my fault. If he gets lost, that's my fault. If he doo's in the middle of the trail, I have to pick it up. It's no different than having a kid.

Our old dog escaped from our yard, got into the street and was hit by a car and killed. Was she just as free as other animals then? Was it her responsibility to stay out of the street? No, her safety was my responsibility, and I let her down.

Letting a dog off-leash is not a sign of a caring dog owner. It's just somebody not caring enough.

Bitter Mcfrontranger said...

I agree with this statement:

"My feeling is that we live in a "FREE" country and that should apply to humans as well as dogs."

From now on, whenever I see a dog tied alone to a fence outside some coffee shop, I will untie that dog and set him free.

zen said...

There's no way this is the DOW or Parks & Rec or any other public agency. If it was the sign would include contact information.

If this is a private citizen, and there is any reality behind it, it most certainly would be a criminal act.

I am a dog owner, and I regularly let my dog off leash (though only in remote areas). But I also understand that I have a responsibility to all other users of the park or trail to make sure my dog is not their problem.

That means keeping the leash at the ready, knowing always where he is, paying attention to our surroundings, leashing him at the first sight or sound of others in the vicinity, and cleaning up after him. It's not rocket science. It's common courtesy, and that's all it really comes down to - My outdoor experience is not more important than yours.

You know a big problem is people think "my dog is friendly". But how do you know he's friendly around me? Or my dog? At least 5 times in the last 8 years my dog has been attacked by so called "friendly" dogs. And every time the owner apologizes profusely and gives the same excuse - "wow he's never done that before". Yeah sure.

My dog's defense is his speed - he's a border collie mix. If he's leashed & someone else's loose dog comes up to him, he'll fight because he feels cornered. So I have no choice but to let him go. That shouldn't be.

Fact is your dog could be the nicest dog on the planet in your home. But you can't drive the instinct from the animal, and when you get them outside THEIR marked territory, and into a land of foreign scents , the instincts rise.

Any dog outside its territory can become an aggressor if it feels provoked. Owners should know this. Your dog at home is not the same dog on the trail.

Anonymous wonders if we get made when we see a fox or deer too. No, because that fox or deer isn't going to approach or threaten us. It's my job to make sure my dog grants them the same courtesy.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with anonymous #1 saying that humans leave more nasty shit behind than "Fido". At least in the case of this subject: trails. Take the Mount Cutler trail for an example. It's heavily used, but I rarely ever see trash left by humans. I can count on two hands the amount of dog shit I see each time I hike that one. Or maybe people are more willing to pick up others trash. I certainly am not going to pick up someone else's dog shit. Careless dog owners need to be more careful or they’re going to get dogs banned from some of these trails and ruin it for everyone.

It is pretty classless for someone to put out signs like that or even threaten that type of action. I believe some vigilante jerk actually did something like that in Portland or somewhere and it killed a leash-less dog or two.

zen said...

"I almost feel that it should be illegal to leash dogs in wild areas as dogs are animals"

If you feel that way then you have no business owning a domesticated dog, do you? After all domestication is basically animal slavery right? What a crock.

Anonymous said...

That is some bold sign and I agree it is not the city parks department's doing's. Perhaps it will cause the city to take some action though then I can stop calling it Dog Crap Canyon.

Andy, you're right dogs following you down the trail is a bummer.


Dog Lover said...

I actually like dogs a lot and have owned a few, but correlate it to smoking. You are free to smoke, but only where designated in public. The same applies for dogs. I know it is tough for some to swallow, but there are rules and they actually apply to...(gasp)...everybody.

"But my dog is good off leash."
"My dog doesn't bite anybody."
"I clean up after my dog."

Good on you. The problem is a lot of people don't and the rule is made for them. Get them to follow it and make your dog and every other dog on the trail's behavior 100% predictable and you are in business.

Al Gore said...

People...people. Dog feces is organic and biodegradeable. It will help the ozone and the icebergs in Antartica.

Don't fear the poo. Put it in a lockbox.

zen said...

I know the Gore statement is a joke, but it is important to note that dog scat is not organic or natural. That is unless you are feeding your dog an artificial preservative free diet. Few are.

Unlike native scat - fox, coyote, deer, bear, etc - dog scat tends to last much longer precisely because of the preservatives in their food that pass through the gut. In fact it can last up to 1 year.

Dave Philipps said...

I learn something new everyday.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the idiot that posted that sign should just hike the canyon and dump bacon grease on all the dog crap he sees. Then the unleashed dogs will solve the problem by eating all the crap and then barf at the owners house.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, our world is constructed to accomodate us, "humans" , even those that claim to be one with nature or have an "outdoor" mindset ultimately would rather only have to think about themselves, it's easier. Most people that do bring thier dogs to open space do so because they are trying to be good dog owners by providing a chance for thier dogs to run, explore, and be dogs, the way they were originally intended. The amount of poop that exists at a park with many acres is minimal and it is the responsibility of the woner to clean up. But the simple fact is this- Dogs should have rights too and they should not be confined to places like stinky over crowded dog parks. If we want to be "green" and "sustainable, then we need to start with our treatment and attitudes to our best friends. They need to have priveledges and enjoy life as much as us, or a deer, or a tree for that matter. This NO TOLERANCE ATTITUDE IS WHY WE ARE HERE WRITING ABOUT THIS INSTEAD OF PLAYING WITH OUR DOGS AT REDROCK CANYON. Lighten Up people and remember that the world encompasses more than humans!

Harriet Tubman of Canines said...

The dogs don't poop in diluted areas spread out over the 700+ acres of the park. The defecate on heavily trafficked trails. Poop on a trail in a cold dry climate means that poop will be around until spring (at least). If you don't believe me, I'll be happy to come over and take a dump on your porch.

Anonymous said...

So- it freezes, reducing the smell, wonderful! But dogs also defacate in the brush, near trees, and near other wildlife feces, not just in the middle of the trail! This isn't just a discussion based on feces, it runs much deeper than that.

Founding Father said...

"All humans were created equal."

It mentions nothing about dogs. To last anonymous he should consider his dog lucky. He could have been born in China and been part of a stir fry.

Your dog may be your best friend, but he isn't mine. In fact, I don't much care for the cut of his jib.

Michael Vick said...

I have a fantastic huge open space on my farm where you can bring your dogs over to play. Let dogs be dogs I say - no need for leashes. I even have a special swing and swimming pool for them.

Anonymous said...

My, what a passionate topic! There are always those who think the law doesn't apply to them. If you don't want to keep your dog on a leash, keep it at home. I hiked the Red Rock Canyon twice while visiting Colorado in January. There was more dog crap on the trail, than visible dirt. If the owners of the free-running dogs see no need to follow the "all dogs on leash" maybe they don't believe in licensing, vaccinating, etc. There is a legitimate reason for all these things to protect the health and safety of ALL.

Dave Philipps said...

I would say 90 percent of the poop is within 100 yards of the parking lot where it could be easily picked up.