Here’s an easy, totally understandable and not at all overwhelming or anxiety-inducing problem to think about for a little bit: why are people letting their dogs shit all over Bushwick?
Off-handedly, I’d guess “because they can” and “because most of the streets are covered in garbage or dead vermin already,” but let’s explore a little bit. DNAinfo spoke with Luis Ramos, who runs a local community garden that’s constantly plagued by untended poop, so much so that he started putting up “Don’t be a pooper-trator” fliers. “My sister won’t even park here, it’s so bad,” Ramos said. “You step out of your car and you step in dog crap. People tore the fliers down… It’s disrespectful. I just want it nice and clean.”
Which, yes! I totally agree, both with his point about basic human respect and decency, and his choice to address it with pun-laden fliers. As does the local community board. “We want to inundate the community with pooper-trator fliers… I take offense to this,” said Community Board 4 district manager Nadine Whitted. She also called the ongoing issue a “doggone shame.” Pretty good.
Officials also note that the poop is of particular concern because of its proximity to area schools. In general, leaving open air feces in areas frequented by children is frowned upon. A spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation has already promised to “have agents patrol these area,” but local City Council candidate Antonio Reynoso noted, “Dog poop is one of the worst problems… you have to catch people in the act. It’s about community policing.”
Well, that all checks out. If the Community Board wants to focus its attentions on a relatively solvable quality of life issue — rather than saber-rattling threats to local bar owners — that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. And if we all choose to spend a little time distracting ourselves with some low-key neighborhood poop vigilanteism, I think that seems alright. Further poop and dog puns are also an acceptable response. Really, whatever works for you.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.