Health & Environment

Poetic Plea from RUFF

For years there has been a very bad trend
In our beloved neighborhood we call the North End
Bad dog owners would just leave their mess
Annoying neighbors and creating a lot of stress

Dog owners or not it was time to put up a fight
And address the irresponsible owners to make things right
In July 2012 our group RUFF came together
To find a solution and make things better

We meet once a month and brave our way through
Combing the neighborhood picking up dog do
Our group is growing and our actions seemed to help
But there are a few areas that still make us want to yelp

Our last clean up was met with frustration
Even the bravest RUFF member proceeded with reservation
What can we do? something has to be done
We cannot give up our efforts, cannot be overrun!

Its time to keep surveillance – we have 3 areas in mind
And keep a watchful eye for who leaves poop behind
A message has been sent to members of RUFF
We hate to do this but it’s time to get tough

The Flights and the Library have been filled with doggy landmines
And to say the Nazzaro Center was bad would be too kind
We understand that there are other spots where owners don’t pickup
But these 3 stood out and made us want to …..

We can’t do this alone and look to the community for assistance
In hopes that we can all have dog poop free coexistence!
So please alert us if you see a bad owner in these locations
And RUFF will educate them of the irritation

We hope this rhythm does not make us seem imperious
To us this matter is growing very serious
Please keep your eyes on the library, Nazzrro, and the flights
And report what you see under the city lights.

**RUFF thanks you for taking the time to hear our concerns, we believe you may have the same ones. If you come across these violators we ask you contact us immediately with details so we may approach the irresponsible owner and educate them on what is proper and respectful. Contact:

Join RUFF on Facebook.

9 Replies to “Poetic Plea from RUFF

  1. How about getting a vet in the north end with all the dogs – that would be a great convenience for everyone!!!

  2. So what do we do? Take a pic of the dog or the owner and email it? Has anyone asked the city to have the animal control officer patrol these locations? Just curious. Thanks RUFF!

  3. Nancy: In the meantime, Paul Costantino, DVM, at The Charles Street Animal Clinic is excellent. The clinic is right across the street from the MGH/Charles Street T Stop.

  4. Hi M- We are hoping people will report what dog or owner is seen in the areas leaving a mess behind, and then we can reach out to the person. It’s not a magic bullet but we have to do something to address the areas. You can contact us at

  5. My family decided to go down to the Puopolo ballfields to play this past beautiful Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the fields were littered with piles of dog poop, making it unusable for our “human” activity. This is vile, disgusting, infuriating and completely unacceptable. Last time I checked, this was a human’s park, not a dog toilet. It’s a sad state of affairs when a sports field, maintained for human use with our tax dollars, is ruined by some thoughtless, ignorant dog owners. Dog feces carries a multitude of bacteria, microorganisms and parasites which can be easily transferred to humans. Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines. Dog waste is not biodegradable and is NOT a good fertilizer; it is actually toxic to grass, causing burns and unsightly discoloring. It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA even estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing. Lawns with unremoved dog feces can harbor Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Salmonella, as well as hookworms, ringworms and tapeworms. Infections from these bugs often cause fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea in humans. Children are most susceptible, since they often play in the dirt and put things in their mouths or eyes.
    I don’t believe we need any new rules, or meetings, or organizations…or poems (sorry). I believe we just need to enforce the RULES that already exist. Dogs ARE NOT ALLOWED on the ballfields. Period. And there should be strict enforcement, with really serious consequences, if people don’t abide by these rules.
    I am a long-term North End resident who is sick and tired of my neighborhood being covered in dog waste, both solid and liquid. It is disgusting and it really needs to stop.

    1. Last time I checked, the ballfield had a sign that said NO DOGS . . . but nobody enforces it. Aside from the inhumanity in having a dog in the city where they get no fresh air, dog owners should be forced to pay an additional tax. $500 a year or something.

      1. “Aside from the inhumanity in having a dog in the city where they get no fresh air, dog owners should be forced to pay an additional tax. $500 a year or something.”

        Does that mean we get to tax people with children, too? I believe they’re lacking the fresh air, as well. How inhumane! They should be in the suburbs with big yards and clean air…

        Do you see how ridiculous your argument is? My dog gets more attention and exercise in the city than any dog I know in the suburbs. Dogs in the suburbs sit in houses all day and get let out in fenced yards. Many lack the true exercise of an actual walk each day.

        1. I think you’re a little hung up on the fresh air bit. That’s great that your dog gets a lot of attention. A round of applause to you! Of course, you don’t say how many dogs you know in the suburbs so your boasting may be nothing more than fallacy!

          The comment is directed at dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs. I would bet most dog owners are responsible — but the dog sh*t left behind speaks for itself.

          Kids don’t defecate and urinate on the streets and in the parks waiting for city workers to clean up after them. If they did, I would think a tax on parents would make sense.

          1. Thanks for the round of applause, I appreciate it…even though it’s sarcastic. The street I grew up on in the ‘burbs (and still frequent) had 9 houses with 7 dogs. I was the only one to ever walk my dog in the ‘burbs. I never saw the others leave their yards (they were always alone in their yards, too). So it’s not a fallacy. I could continue to recount #s about the various streets and houses I walked by with other dog stats…but I’m sure those are unnecessary.

            That’s funny that you say kids don’t defecate or urinate on the streets and in the parks – I’ve seen local kids (teens) urinating in public. Polluting, as well, by leaving their beer cans and trash behind when they drink behind the buildings/by the waterfront during good weather.

            Should we tax all parents because of a few bad/irresponsible kids? No. Similarly, we should not tax all pet owners because of a few irresponsible ones. We should work to fix the problem, rather than point the finger at a whole group.

            We can get hung up on things…or we can work together to solve the problem. I think RUFF is working hard to educate owners and to get people to be more responsible. I bet the same individuals leaving their trash out on non-trash days are the ones who could give a crap (hah?) about picking up their dog’s crap.

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