Community Health & Environment

Bags of Dog Poop Dumped at Baseball Fields [Slideshow]

The latest dog poop quagmire is at the North End baseball fields, shown in these photos by Stefan Modzelewski. Taken at Puopolo Field on Commercial St., he appropriately notes “the photos speak for themselves.” The fields are posted “No Dogs” but this is obviously not the case.

A trash barrel or a big belly compacter could help at this location. In the off-season, the barrels are stacked by the bocce courts although there are trash receptacles down the block. Stefan adds, “The disrespect displayed does not make a particularly strong case for continued use of the field by dogs.”

Tensions between ball field users, parents and irresponsible dog owners are not new in the North End. There was a huge “dog caca” uproar last summer at the ball fields. Some responsible dog owners have tried to show leadership, including those in RUFF, Responsible Urbanites for Fido, with educational awareness efforts and regular cleanups. The group is also advocating for a dog park in the neighborhood that could alleviate some of the problems seen at other parks.

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52 Replies to “Bags of Dog Poop Dumped at Baseball Fields [Slideshow]

  1. the city should have someone parked out there issuing fines. in fact, the city should have people all around the north end issuing fines ,which should start at no less than $500. the dog waste in this neighborhood is out of control. where is the city counselor and mayor that this neighborhood loves so much?

    1. Increase the dog license fees to pay for the patrol. There is no reason why all taxpayers should pay for the lack of courtesy of the few. Dog owners should be only to happy to pay the extra fees to get rid of these people who ruin their image.

  2. Where is R.U.F.F.? I agree – we need heavy fines enforcing the no dog policy at the parks. It is so unenforced it is ridiculous. People let there dogs run all over the parks to the point in which PEOPLE can’t even use the park without stepping in dog poop. This needs to stop now!!!

  3. Please don’t lump all dog owners in with those who don’t pick up after their pets. Most dog owners in the North End are responsible so banning dogs from parks is the wrong move. That is like banning alcohol because some people drink & drive.
    By the way, anyone else find these pictures a little suspicious? I walk my dog aroung behind the baseball fields all the time and I’ve never these bags piled like this. Makes me think some anti-dog crusader consolidated all of these bags in this one place to make a point.

    1. You really think (1) somebody hates dogs that much that they would (2) gather dog poop and dump it? Get the needle out of your arm. Also, dogs are not allowed in the park – the sign clearly says so but the so-called “Responsible Dog Owners” (including you, “BL”) disobey the rules of the park.

      1. Wow, going straight to calling me a herion addict…stay classy “Salem St Guy”.
        Now to answer your question, yes I do think someone would go through the trouble to stage that photo to get dogs completely out of the parks (maybe the lady complaining about poop kids having to roll in the grass that might have “poop residue” on it).
        Also, the parks should not be “No dogs allowed” as a matter of policy. The entire winter, when NOBODY else is using those parks, why should do owners (who pay the same taxes as everyone else) have to avoid using the only fenced in green space in the neighborhood? We just need to make sure people pick up after their pets, not start restricting access. When rules (like this “No dogs”) are completely arbitrary and make no sense, I ignore them.

    2. I too thinks this looks remarkably contrived. I do walk my dog there-generally not in the field. I have never seen that many bags of poop. And I would like to note that IF these photos are accurate, the debris has been deposited in the locale where we generally have trash barrels. Surely the Park Dept. was not thinking when they removed or turned barrels over for the winter. One can only wonder at the rationale behind this decision. PLD

  4. I’ve seen piles of bags in the corner of the park near Greenough Lane as well. The best is the bags full of crap placed so neatly along the sidewalks. Seems like there’s more irresponsible dog owners then responsible ones.

    1. So when did it become ok to neatly leave bags of dog crap where a Big Belly should be? That’s like leaving your lunch wrapper on the corner because there’s no trash barrel. How about take it back to your own house like responsible people do.

  5. Yup, they’re in the wiget/stillman street area as well. So nice of the “responsible” dog owner to bag his dogs feces, then leave it for someone else to clean up. If you’re too lazy to pick up the bag and throw it away, then just leave it. Putting it in a bag just ensures that rain won’t wash it away.

    1. I fully agree with you that people who do this are not being responsible. I can’t understand why anyone would take the time to bag it and then just leave it…no sense whatsoever. However, please remember that there are MANY more dog owners around here who do take the time to bag & throw away their dog poop. Don’t lump us all in one group.

  6. I do not care if the park is not used in the winter. It’s used in the spring summer and fall and even if you pick up after your dog there is still residue left. Kids should not have to worry about sliding in it while playing sports. There is a designated fenced in dog park on Richmond St.

    1. You’ve heard of birds, right? You know what they do when they are walking on the field? That’s right…EVERYBODY POOPS! And they don’t even pick it up. I think you should try banning birds from the fields, too.
      And you act like the Richmond St lot is enough. Have you ever been there, especially at night? It’s a tiny, sketchy, unlit lot smashed between a building and the tunnel. It’s definitely not enough for a neighborhood as populated as the North End.
      I don’t have kids, but I have a dog. I guess I should pay less in taxes if the parks in my own neighborhood don’t let me use them. We dog owners deserve a little respect, just like everyone else.

      1. We also have only 1 little league park. Everyone keeps saying its fenced in its not. Your dogs can run out on either side. People use it because its a big grassy area. Sliding in dog poop or bird poop big difference. Maybe RUFF should look into having the city turn the area behind the skating rink a dog park.

        1. I actually think goose poop (which is the bird poop that you would most often see on these fields) is JUST AS disgusting as dog poop. So when you said, “Sliding in dog poop or bird poop big difference”…take a look at this photo: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/evablue/2928632733/ — it’s disgusting goose poop.

          I’m not saying leaving behind dog poop is OK…but maybe you’re mistaking some of the goose poop for dog poop sometimes, too. Let’s take a stand against the irresponsible geese!!!

      2. When you and your fellow dog owners show more respect for the neighborhood and the neighbors by picking up after your dogs and PROPERLY disposing of the bags then you and the other dog owners would get respect in return. Attitudes like the one you seem to have only make the situation worse. The people who belong to RUFF are trying to make things better for everyone. All dog owners really should do the right thing and keep out of the baseball fields, the tot lots, the tennis courts and clean up their mess.

        1. I always pick up after my dog (and I actually don’t even use the ball fields because my dog is too small to even make it worthwhile), but I take no responsibility for others that don’t. You shouldn’t condemn all dog owners because of the few bad apples. It’s that mentality that makes dog owners take a confrontational attitude. This whole thing started with complaints about ALL dogs/owners in the North End. Take a look at my first post and the responses generated.

          1. Brad you summed up exactly what I was thinking from reading these comments. ‘Oy vey’ said’your fellow dog owners’. I don’t have a dog anymore but when I did I always picked up after her- don’t lump me in with some irresponsible person that I have no control over. Fine them don’t condemn me just because I happen to have the same type of pet! I also liked the point that if I choose to have a dog instead of kids what are my tax dollars going toward if I don’t use the playground but have nowhere to go with my’family’?

  7. Bi. It’s clearly marked and if you don’t see the postings as you walk your dog through the park then I guess it’s quite possible you don’t see these bags either. I once approached a dog owner after he let his dog go and tried to scurry away. He insisted that he was a responsible owner who forgot his bag. Gee of all things to forget! Seems your claim is the same has his. It really is hard to tell you guys apart.

  8. I agree that all dog owners shouldn’t be lumped together, either as all being responsible or as all being irresponsible: there’s a mix. RUFF has done some impressive work recently. That said, if an area is posted with a sign saying “No Dogs”, it is irresponsible to walk your dog there – whether it’s on a leash or not, whether you pick up after it or not. The “No Dogs” sign means just that, not “Dogs, but only if you pick up their feces.” or “Dogs, but only if they’re just passing through or urinating”. The problem with dog mess isn’t just feces, it’s also urine: I frequently see people letting their dogs urinate in the middle of the sidewalk or against the side of buildings. The tennis courts are another problem area where some people allow their dogs to run off-leash.

    I have also come to believe that adding a dog park will not solve the problem of dogs being in areas where “No Dogs” signs are posted. People – including responsible dog owners – who are more than a block or two from the dog park are going to choose to let their dogs relieve themselves elsewhere when they are short of time, when it’s cold or raining out, etc. A dog park is a great bonus amenity for responsible dog owners, but I’m not sure how anyone else benefits. And irresponsible dog owners clearly have other priorities than whether their dog is in a designated dog park or not.

    1. Dude, when you are walking your dog to the park they will pee on the sidewalk. You can guide them away from doorways and storefronts, but they will go somewhere on the sidewalk before you make it to the park. It’s just a part of city living that all of us have to deal with. If this were out in the suburbs with lots of green space you may have a point, but unfortunately there is minimal green space in our neighborhood.
      About your point “a dog park is a great bonus for dog owners, but not sure how anyone else benefits”…that is not how things work. Nothing that gets built benefits everyone. I could just as easily say “a little league field is a great bonus amenity for families with kids, but I’m not sure how anyone else benefits”. You need to understand that other people may have different needs than you do, and their needs are no less valid than your own.

      1. My comment that “a dog park is a great bonus for dog owners….” was in response to the point one of the earlier commenters made that a second dog park in the neighborhood would solve (or perhaps they meant mitigate?) the dog mess problem. I don’t believe it would, for the reasons I laid out above. A second park provides a benefit to dog owners but it does not benefit anyone else [who is concerned about dog mess]. It is obvious that not everyone takes advantage of every civic amenity but the fact that they don’t doesn’t mean no civic amenities should be provided.

    2. Regarding urine, “Urine is 95% water, 2.5% urea, and 2.5% of other mixtures of minerals, salts, and enzymes. It is a blood byproduct and is nontoxic.” [Silverstein, Alivn, Virginia Silverstein, and Robert Silverstein.1994. The Excretory System. New York, NY: Twenty-First Century Books.]

      I don’t think the expectation is that if there’s a dog park dogs will ONLY urinate at the dog park.

  9. If you don’t want to follow the “No Dogs” rule, then don’t have a dog!

    It’s not just the mess they leave behind, they are destructive too. The front lawn of Columbus park is marred by holes where they dig. The urine kills the grass.

    I agree: find a way to live together by working for a dog park, but for God’s sake follow the established rules!

  10. It’s unbeleiveable that the city takes away all the trash cans during the winter around the baseball fields. I don’t think this is responsible or okay at all – people throwing baged doggie bags on the ground – but they do need a trash barrel there all year round! My dog went there last week – near the sidewalk side on a little plot of grass – I had trouble finding the garbage cans. Then I saw all the barrels upside down on the bocce court?? About 10 of them. One was not upside down and I threw my baggie in there. We need trash barrels year round on every block! The dogs are here whether we like it or not and they poop all year round. Dog owners need trash barrels.

    1. Clearly this is an extreme view, but if you think about it – there really isn’t an adequate place for dogs in the neighborhood. As even BL concedes, the official dog park is not big enough. If dog owners can’t follow the rules (and I’m sorry but I think most dog owners don’t follow the Ball Field rules) then we need to do something about it.

      Register your dog? Dog license fees? something needs to be done.

      1. “Register your dog? Dog license fees? something needs to be done.” Dogs are supposed to be registered/licensed. So something has been done in that regard.

        “but I think most dog owners don’t follow the Ball Field rules…” I don’t like how you’ve made an assumption there. I’m sure if you took a survey you’d find that SOME don’t follow the Ball Field rules…not most.

        “there really isn’t an adequate place for dogs in the neighborhood…” I’m sure at some point there wasn’t an adequate place for children to play in the neighborhood, either…but work was done to build parks/playgrounds so that families were catered to in the North End. Would it really be that difficult to accommodate the supposed thousands of dogs in the North End?

        1. Wow: “hah” is equating neighborhood development geared at human families (schools, parks, etc.) with dog parks. Dogs are not human. As much as people love their dog, dogs do not deserve the same level of consideration when it comes time to allocate public funds.

          1. Salem St. Guy – I never said dogs are human. Please point out where I did. I would greatly appreciate that.

            You say “dogs do not deserve the same level of consideration when it comes time to allocate public funds.” How about we consider the owners, who are human. To some people, dogs are their family. I have no children. I don’t complain about my tax money going to the various children-related items (parks/schools)… but I would APPRECIATE consideration towards something I would find useful. A dog park.

            Isn’t the point of a neighborhood making it one that caters to the hobbies/desires of the humans living there?

            1. hah, I was just about to say the same thing. A dog park is not an amenity for the dogs, but for the people who own the dogs. There are clearly enough dogs in this small neighborhood that a dog park would be well utilized (and likely all year, not just in the summer months).

  11. As Commissioner of baseball in the North End the baseball fields are where I spend the majority of my time during the summer. The flow of people taking their dogs into the outfield and letting them poop is constant. I’ll be on the field with my rake and shovel trying to get the field ready for a game and someone with a dog will walk right by me, let their dog loose on the field and then let it poop in the grass. The discipline it takes from me not to lose my mind on the owner is incredible. I understand people love their dogs. That’s great. But this is a baseball field not a dog park. The signs clearly say no dogs allowed. Our baseball program has over 200 boys and girls who run, dive and roll in that park. Dog poop or dog pee should not be something our children have to worry about. When did dogs become equal to children?

  12. I own 2 black and white rat terriers, I am sure you’ve seen my wife and children walking them around the neighborhood. I do the late night walks with them. I CANNOT BELIEVE the amount of irresponsible dog owners we have in our community. Those folks who went out bought bags and feel leaving their dog poop bagged is the proper thing to do are stupid at the very least, and the dog owners that believe that their dog poop belongs all over our sidewalks and parks are as stupid and inconsiderate as the ones who leave it on our sidewalks and parks BAGGED. Why would you bag it and discarded in everyones property? why do people think that leaving their dog’s poop where ever it lands is the way to go? I think it is because we do live with alot of ignorant people, I hate to be rude, but what other explanation is there.
    Dogs have been our companions for thousands of years, they have helped our species travel, hunt, heard and in modern day assist our handicap with every day tasks. Not long ago a wrote a piece on how can we improve our neighborhood and I closed by saying “If you want to leave in a better neighborhood being a good neighbor is a good start” If this folks want to be a part of our community I suggest they work at becoming better neighbors and pick up after their pets, to the rest of us, I suggest if you witness this type of behavior take a moment approach this fools and instruct them in what is right, it is obvious they need to be educated on the subject. Owning a dog is extremely rewarding and it is everyones right to own a pet, what people need to remember is that our rights end where our neighbors begin.
    We pick up after our dogs, we double bag our garbage, shovel our sidewalks after snow storms, etc. and we are teaching our children to be good neighbors and citizens, some times I wonder, who raised this people?

  13. 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.

    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 feces carries a multitude of bacteria, microorganisms and parasites which can be easily transferred to humans.

    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.

    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.

  14. RUFF wanted to take a quick moment to respond to this post. We were alerted to this situation yesterday morning. Yesterday, after work, RUFF members went down to the ball field and cleaned up this pile of poop bags. RUFF does not condone improper disposal of dog waste nor does RUFF condone any dogs using the ball fields during any season. As members of the community and people who love our dogs and this neighborhood we are hoping to find a solution or at least a way to co-exist. We hear the complaints and try to alleviate this situation by holding monthly clean ups in different parks throughout the neighborhood. In fact RUFF has their March clean up this Sunday morning – all neighbors are welcome as we clean more than just dog remains. Dogs are wonderful additions to this neighborhood, we as a community need to work together when there are problems rather than insult or act defiant against each other. RUFF will be making a HUGE effort in the Spring to curb dog owners away from using the children’s sporting areas. Dogs are a part of the make-up of this city and our neighborhood, please help and work with us to find a happy medium for everyone.

    1. The pictures above leads you to believe that the problem is solved? In case you have just dropped into the neighborhood, it is not a new problem. I admit the blue flags helps one spot the mess before stepping into it. But the problem is far from solved and … you might notice people don’t obey the posted signs. Brilliant solution though!

      1. I didn’t just drop into the neighborhood. Born and raised and no those photos don’t lead you to believe the problem is solved. People may pick it up and place it in bags but they also have to throw it in a barrel. Yes I know we need more barrels. Hold it till you find one. My simple solution is brilliant if people were not so ignorant and I’m not saying all dog owners.

  15. It’s pretty evident that dog owners just don’y want responsibility for their own mess. Imagine having to have a trash can at their immediate disposal every place that their dog choose to go to the bathroom. There are trash cans all over the North End that you could walk to. Don’t you have one at home? I’m sure you do, but you don’t want that in your home, so you make removal someone else’s problem.

  16. Many people here are getting upset on both sides of this and I think it’s because these people on here care about the neighborhood. Do you think the people who disobey the rules/signs or don’t pick up after their dogs are reading these articles and posts??? I doubt it. I think that someone above was right- follow the rules & try to be a good neighbor & maybe we who care can try to find a way to get along & live together instead of fighting with one another about the people who don’t care

    1. I was thinking about it and maybe if everyone here works together- like saying (not attacking) nicely to people if you see them not picking up after their dog “I think you’re supposed to pick that up” and moving on. Maybe if enough people in the neighborhood say it to these people they will feel like they’re feeling watched all the time and eventually start picking it up. I don’t know just a thought.

  17. “It’s obvious the photograph was staged ” ? ( Stew M) Really ? You can find piles like this near the Stillman St Playground , Greenough Ln. playground , ect. Someone must have a lot of time on their hands … It’s obvious the person can’t find a barrel so they’re just creating their own little trash pile , the fellow dog owners are following suit .

  18. just was walking home and on the east side of charter street between salem and henchman, i spotted a very old man on his scooter with his small dog in tow. guess what the dog was doing? pooping as it walked along the sidewalk. then, the man on his scooter stopped and the dog pooped more. then, the man just scooted off leaving the poop behind on the sidewalk! what i find interesting is that this man appeared to be an old timer who has probably lived in the neighborhood for 50 years. this just shows that even the the old timers are letting the neighborhood goes to $h*T. i should have snapped his pic and posted it to this site. perhaps we should do that for all the violators. public shame is necessary and may even lead to accountability. my earlier comment was not posted, so it will be interesting to see if this one makes it online.

  19. There are some private condo associations that use this model. They get a sample of every dog’s feces, get the DNA profile for them and then every time they find uncollected feces they track down the owner and the fine is pretty stiff. A one time registration fee covers the initial cost. The fines are big enough that they both cover the cost of the test and obviously act as an effective deterrent. I’m not sure it would be effective in a city it’s an interesting concept.

    1. Wow, I had not even heard of it until I read the above article. I can see it perhaps being cumbersome to a city the size of Boston. Maybe, maybe not. It sure is an interesting way to deal with the issue.

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