Truesdale Lake is lovely for a walk any time of year. We welcome many people from both the neighborhood and outside the area to our perfect 2.6 mile loop.
Unfortunately, some folks walking with dogs are not cleaning up after their pets. The evidence is right at the curb, near the mailboxes, and sometimes right in the middle of the street.
It is an unpleasant topic — but it must be addressed.
If you own a dog, these unwelcome feces (are there any other kind?) pose a direct danger to your pet.
Dog wasteÂ can carry disease or parasites (hookworm,Â roundworm, andÂ campylobacter)Â which can spread throughout the dog community quickly.
The poop also can beÂ a severe health hazard for small children, organ transplant recipients, immune system compromised patients, and the elderly.
Finally, the poop contributes to elevated fecal coliform bacteria in the lake and is generally disgusting smelling and unpleasant.
What can you do?
If you own a dog, clean up after your pet. Â There are bag carriers that attach to leashes and collars like the one for sale here (and hereÂ – and here – and here – and here).
We know the vast majority ofÂ dog owners do their part and clean up. But several people have notedÂ dog owners who disposeÂ of the poop bags in the nearest (private) garbage bin. This seems like a logical thing to do — BUT it is a problem. Why? Many of the trash removal companies simply leave these baggies behind when hauling the big bags of trash. Why are they so picky about what they throw into their trucks? We don’t know! Unfortunately this leaves the homeowner to clean up the bags — sometimes after they have sat for several weeks unnoticed and sometimes split open at the bottom of the trash bin. Speaking from experience, it is not pleasant cleaning the bottom of a trash bin that has been soiled by an unknown dog. Solution: Take your used doggie bags back to your own trash to minimize your impact and be a good neighbor.
If you see a dog owner who is not taking responsibility, please politely ask them to clean up after their pet. Â If they refuse, you can offer them a plastic bag if they have none. Â In cases of repeat offenses, the Lewisboro Dog Control OfficerÂ (Christine McKenna) can be reached via the town.
You can also emailÂ Janet Donahue, Lewisboro Town Clerk (914-763-3511). Â Town law prohibits dogs from “Creating a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public property or private property other than that of its owner” among other things. Â Owners can be fined between $50 and $100 for first offenses and up to $600 for repeat violations. New changes in state and local dog laws took effect in 2011.
The town and lake community can help as well. Â The community can help educate residents about the dangers of dog poop.
The town and/or associations may be able to help by getting “doggie bag” dispensers and receptacles placed strategically around the lake. This is a possibility — But it brings up other questions that must be answered like:
- how much do they cost (purchase & installation),
- where should they be placed,
- who is responsible for emptying the bags,
- who restocks the bags when they run out,
- and who pays for:
- the initial investment in bins and
- the ongoing costs of garbage bag removal and poop bag restocking?
Working together we can help stop this problem and keep our wonderful lake neighborhood clean and healthy for all residents year-round!
Please write any comments or ideas you have in the comments section below or on the Facebook pageÂ for Lake Truesdale.
[Link to Lake Management Article on why no dogs are allowed on beaches.]