Health & Environment

Asking Dog Owners to Leave the Flower Plants Alone

Plants after dog urination (Photo: Toni Gilardi)
Plants after dog urination (Photo: Toni Gilardi)

I turn to out of frustration and anger towards pet owners who allow their dogs to urinate on private property.

I am outraged that any normal person would think it was okay for their dog to pee on beautiful flower pots that I spend time and money on trying to make the North End look nice.

My flowers are dying and look terrible. It’s the same with my building on Fulton Street. The nerve of letting dogs peeing on one’s steps!

It is disrespectful and rude. I have to take time out of my busy day to wash down my planters and steps because some lazy pet owner can’t control their animal.

They are the same people who allow their dog to poop in the middle of the sidewalk. Whether they pick it up or not it still is there. I’ve had it. I will catch who is doing this and publicly shame them.

26 Replies to “Asking Dog Owners to Leave the Flower Plants Alone

  1. I am actually glad you bring this up. I am a pet owner who is VERY diligent about my dog, where he goes to the bathroom, clean up and the property of others. I actually get disgusted by the way some owners allow their animal to behave. I have seen a dog pee RIGHT next to where I open my front door on the side of the building. It then trickles into my mailbox area and STINKS of urine for days until the rain cleans it OR I go down with bleach. Its GROSS! There are MANY designated dog areas for restroom purposes and if you are going to have an animal be respectful and be a good owner.

  2. And I’ve seen people poop, pee, vomit and shoot dope in the middle of the day In the North End on Hanover Street, the pets have better manners than some of the people that live there…

    1. Why the need for public shaming? Seems aggressive. At the end of her article Toni says it’s the same people who allow their dog to poop on the sidewalk (but she then adds they pick it up and then scolds them again). If you know these people why not ask them to curb their dog? And no, you should not have to ask them too but some people with dogs and kids don’t get it. A negative reaction to a negative situation doesn’t help the community grow and resolves nothing. We live in a wonderful, but tightly packed neighborhood and need to find ways cohabitant kindly.

      1. Lake,
        It’s not public shaming – people need to be held accountable for inappropriate behavior. If the pets were ruining your planets, I doubt you’d be so timid.

  3. Two wrongs don’t make a right. That is ridiculous to compare the two as if it makes one better. People should control their dogs and it is fabulous that we have designated dog parks now. Those who own the dogs that don’t behave are making it tough for all the other dog owners. Shame on you.

    1. Sheila you beat me to it my thoughts exactly. There is no excuse for pet owners to allow their animals to deface anyone’s property. The owners should be held accountable.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with the original post. Dog owners in the North End are INCREDIBLY RUDE and CLUELESS when they let their dogs relieve themselves on all manner of steps, buildings, sidewalks, curbs, flower pots, cars, bikes, railings, balusters, BASEMENT WINDOWS (yes, I’ve seen it!), etc.

    One of the most oft-used and disgusting places is the balustered entrance to the Prado at Unity St….y’know, the one where hundreds of school kids, their families, and thousands of tourists walk through every day? It’s disgusting how much dog pee is on and around the balusters there.

    I can’t in my wildest imagination understand what dog owners are thinking: “Hey, that [fill in the blank from the list of peed-on places above], which someone else owns (or uses, or cares about, or spends time maintaining and cleaning) looks like the PERFECT place for me to leave a puddle of my dog’s urine!!”

    Do they think no one notices (we do!)? Do they think it will evaporate into nothing (here’s a hint: it doesn’t)? Do they think it doesn’t stain or stink (it does)? Are they just that ignorant of the effects of their pet’s waste? Are they just too lazy to walk to a designated area? (And here’s a good one…) Do they just not realize that the N.E. IS NOT A SMART PLACE TO HAVE a pet dog, especially if you work all day, thus keeping your pooch cooped up in a tiny apartment all day and making it hold its pee all day so that it has to relieve itself as soon as it walks outside?!?

    I just do not get it, and never will as long as I live. I’ve thought of printing stickers that say “This is NOT a dog toilet” and sticking them on the various things in the N.E. that are inappropriately dripping and puddled with dog pee every morning and every evening (see list above!)…but then I realize I couldn’t afford that many stickers!

    1. Theoretically, if you stuck stickers on various things in the N.E., you would be defacing property. Wouldn’t that be just as bad?

      As a dog owner, I get annoyed that you lump everyone together when you say “Do they just not realize that the N.E. IS NOT A SMART PLACE TO HAVE a pet dog, especially if you work all day, thus keeping your pooch cooped up in a tiny apartment all day and making it hold its pee all day so that it has to relieve itself as soon as it walks outside?!?”

      My dog comes to work with me, and does not spend the entire day in the apartment. I think that’s cruel, and I would never do that to my dog. As I go around the N.E. and the city with my dog, I can only hope that people are not jumping to conclusions and assuming I’m an awful and irresponsible person for having a dog in the city. I don’t jump to conclusions about people who raise children in the city.

  5. If there is any blame, it certainly is not towards the animals. Remember…..the dogs are kept in most of the day, and as soon as they’re taken out, bingo, they urinate. What to do? I don’t know. How can you carry a dog to a park or gutter if he is relieving himself right then and there. City people ought to think twice before buying / adopting a dog, esp. a larger dog. Stickers could be printed for drug users, deck parties too! I do understand the transgression on private property.

  6. I’ve lived in the North End now for well over a decade got married here, bought our first property here, and had our first child here, I love this place. If we end up moving and anyone asks why this will easily be in my top few reasons for why we moved out which seems crazy that it’s come to this. It’s truly awful that the irresponsibility/disrespect of what I’m guessing is the vast minority of dog owners has really tainted my view (and many others that I know and talk too) of the place I ideally would spend the rest of my life. Also when did the city decide Columbus park was a dog park? Maybe I can’t read as well as I think I can but those signs do say “keep your dogs leashed”, no? I mean you couldn’t pay me to sit in that grass during the summer and I’m grateful of the wonderful playground but shouldn’t my daughter be able to run around in the park too?

  7. I always thought you were supposed to “curb your dog”. That would keep everything off of the sidewalks, etc. and then the streets get cleaned on a regular basis.

    1. Well that is a good question since the city fines property owners for trash and snow removal violations. As if it is private property ….. But is your point that it’s okay for pet owners to allow their pets to deficate in the middle of the sidewalk because it’s public ?

      To all : Please get back to my original point: Pet owners are allowing their pets to deficate and urinate on flower pots , buildings, doors ways ,historic meeting areas etc…. That some of us personally maintain to beautify and preserve this neighborhood for the good of all. We spend our own money, time and effort to do so…. Don’t argue , it’s a fact and an ugly one that I’m not afraid to point out.

      Aggressive as it my seem we have the right to call out and blame the offenders. We need to stick together for the integrity of our wonderful neighborhood. Stop picking apart a single post , understand the scope of the intent and help the cause. If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem , Help , don’t hurt a good cause !

      1. Are you saying public shaming is a solution or am I misreading your comment? I do not understand how that helps. I am in support for educating pet owners to curb their dogs, but not shaming people.

      2. No i don’t think it is ok for dogs or people to pee all over the place but it is called “city living” and it is impossible to make everyone feel responsable and respectful.
        About flower pots on sidewalks i have always been told that once you put It on sidewalk, you give up ownership of it. If you put flower pot on steps of building, it still belongs to you.

    2. State and city codes are enforced in order to keep sidewalks clean and safe. They are city property, however, building owners are responsible for the upkeep of sidewalk in front of house or building. That is why Janet gives awards to businesses who take excellent care of their ‘sidewalks’ / entrances.

  8. Unfortunately there is a new breed of dog owners who are rude. Respect for people and property has gone down the drain. Imagine what the tourists must think about the North End when getting a horrible smell while walking through the Prado.

  9. I think that dog owners are getting an unfair rap here because of the actions of a few irresponsible owners.Not to mention the fact that that there are human beings who urinate ,vomit on streets ,sidewalks & peoples property throughout the neighborhood.

  10. Continuing the thread: We have New York’s ‘poop scoop’ laws, put into effect by Koch, as an initiative to make people pick up after their dogs. It has worked ! ….thanks to a combination of citizens’ groups demanding cleaner streets and intelligent legislation … plus an uprising of civic good will. We, the people are trying to ‘save’ our neighborhood and we may inspire politicians to pass intelligent laws.

  11. Jamison, there are plenty of laws on the books in this city but the problem is the majority of them aren’t enforced. Take CC park for example some people have turned it into a dog park with dogs off leash and running amok.I have witnessed it every time I have been there yet I have seen park rangers there but I have never seen one of them address or confront the dog owners.

  12. Like any other rule, this takes both education and enforcement. Like most other public rules, the City offers no education and no enforcement. This community needs to first understand what the rules are, then educate all residents and seek enforcement of the rules, while also requesting consideration beyond the rules. Can RUFF and NEWRA join in accomplishing this?
    I will help, in the spirit of Anne Marie Pistorio.

  13. My take on this is that all Toni is trying to say is please try to train your dog not to pee or poop in front of ANY building/ structure. It is totally disrespectful and lazy on the owners part, not the dogs. We all want to live in a nice neighborhood, but seeing pee stains on buildings, light poles and especially flower pots is disgusting and it stinks. As to the pots on the sidewalk as opposed to being on your steps, that makes it ok to let the dog pee on them. Also the crap all over the North End is getting worse. If you’re too lazy to get your dog to a dog park then train them to go the bathroom IN your house. I know some that do this, especially in the winter. Come on people. Smarten up. I’m not lumping all dog owners into this.

  14. It is unfortunate that there is not more green space for dogs in the city but it is a city and we must all remember that. I resided in Boston for 40 or so years and recently retired and moved to Florida and bought a small apartment on the upper east side of New York City. I was very reluctant to bring our large (50lb) dog there because of just what you are all speaking about. What I found was not only are there a zillion dogs in New York City but everyone gets along and no one freaks out when a dog has to do what comes naturally. Our solution is to carry a bottle of water in our dog backpack and after they go pour water on the spot to wash it away, and of course always pick up and dispose. In most areas of NYC they actually wash the sidewalks daily keeping the dog issues to a minimum. When was the last time your building did that? I am considering moving back to Boston and a pet friendly area is a must. What really gripes me is all the eye pollution that the city puts out. What is that you might say… All of those annoying signs posted on every available lamp post and pole. Don’t park here, Don’t do this , don’t do that. How ugly.

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