Managing Pet Waste in Your Community
Is Dog Doody Bringing Your Community Down?
The DoodyCalls Guide to Successfully Managing Pet Waste in Your Community.
With pet ownership on the rise, more and more communities, Home Owner Associations (HOAs), and apartment complexes are looking for affordable and practical solutions to effectively manage pet waste in their communities. In fact, any community that allows pets should have a pet waste management plan in place to support best practices for waste removal and keep pet waste under control.
Pet waste is unsightly and can decrease property values by making the community look unkempt and the grounds poorly maintained. Pet waste is also environmental pollutant that can easily create human health concerns if left unattended. Bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in the waste until it is washed away into the water supply. Ringworm, roundworm, salmonella and giardia are examples of such bacteria, all of which are found in pet waste and are easily transferable to humans and other pets upon contact. And if that is not enough – pet waste is also the number one food source for rats – yuck!
The purpose of this article is to discuss what makes a successful pet waste management plan and various solutions to effectively manage pet waste problems in your community.
DoodyCalls is the largest pet waste removal and pet waste management service in the United States. We have extensive knowledge and years of experience controlling pet waste in communities.
When a community comes to DoodyCalls with a pet waste management problem we look at several factors in the community that could be contributing to the problem:
When creating our pet waste management plans we analyze the following:
- Community statistics, such as dog ownership, size of the community and whether the community is in a growth phase or fully developed.
- Does the community already have pet waste stations?
- If a community does have pet waste stations, where are they located and how many stations are there? Are the stations on a regular service schedule? Are the pet waste stations well maintained, fully stocked and in good working order? Or are they old, in disrepair and almost always out of bags?
- Does the community have regularly scheduled grounds maintenance that will also take care of scooping the poop that doesn’t make it into the stations?
- Finally, is the community making it “easy” for resident pet owners to do the right thing and pick up the poop? Are they promoting an atmosphere of caring about the needs of the non- pet owning residents? And are they sending out the right messages about what they expect pet owners to do with the poop? Actions such as installing pet waste stations send a clear message to pet owners about where the community expects dog waste to go!
Once we have analyzed the above factors we can make suggestions and recommendations based on what we find:
- If a community is just beginning to build we recommend creating a plan that accounts for future growth and the needs of future pet owners. One station may be enough at first, but communities can quickly outgrow their current pet waste management solutions. A constant re-evaluation of pet ownership numbers, community size and community needs will need to take place to ensure your pet waste management plan remains an effective solution as your community grows and changes.
- If a community does allow pets, it is our recommendation that they also have pet waste stations. A careful analysis of the community grounds will help to determine how many stations will be needed and the best locations for them. You will want to be very certain of the location for each pet waste station before installing it. A committee may be formed or the HOA Board may want to approve the location of the stations before they are installed. Pet waste stations are usually sunk into the ground with concrete and become very difficult to move once installed. As always, be certain to contact all authorities necessary to mark all power lines before you dig!
- If a community already has pet waste stations – in what condition are they? A pet waste station is not worth much if it is in disrepair or is out of litter bags. In communities that already have pet waste stations in place; we take a close look at the condition of the stations to see if disrepair is leading to non-use by pet owners. Sometimes it can be more cost effective to simply replace parts of a station rather than replacing the entire unit. Litter bag dispensers, u-channel posts, and waste bins can all be easily swapped out and replaced for new ones. If the station is in all-around poor condition you may want to consider purchasing replacement pet waste stations. If the stations are new, a lack of use by residents may just be a station service issue. If the pet waste stations are not being serviced frequently enough, pet owners may have given up on using them because they are so frequently out of supplies. DoodyCalls provides service to pet waste stations to ensure they are in good working order, fully stocked with litter bags, and the bins are emptied and the waste removed from the community on a regular basis. The frequency of service is based on each individual community’s budget and specific needs.
- Sometimes despite the community or HOAs best efforts, pet waste still piles up in common and heavily traffic areas. Consider having someone like DoodyCalls patrol common areas and clean-up dog poop on a regular basis. DoodyCalls provides one time cleanings, monthly cleanings, twice monthly cleanings, weekly cleanings, and even twice weekly cleanings for communities.
- Finally, if a community advertises itself as “pet friendly” to help attract residents or home owners, but does not have amenities for pet owners such as pet waste stations along community paths, the community is not living up to its promise. This doesn’t mean that you need to have a swimming pool built for the dogs, but it does mean that you should provide the basics to help make it easier for residents to be responsible pet owners and do the right thing by cleaning up after their pets.
With the above suggestions and tips you should be well on your way to creating a reasonable pet waste management plan that everyone in your community will value and appreciate.
If you have questions about creating a pet waste management plan for your community or need help evaluating a pet waste problem on your property, feel free to contact us. In areas where we provide service, DoodyCalls will come out and happily create a pet waste management proposal for your community free of charge. Visit us at DoodyCalls for a free service quote.
To request more information on how DoodyCalls can help manage pet waste at your community, or visit www.DoodyCalls.com or call us at 1.800.DoodyCalls (366.3922) to learn more!