When Someone’s Dog Keeps Pooping On Your Lawn


smallWhat do you when someone’s dog keep pooping on your lawn? A Montclair reader writes:

For a second time this week, I returned home to find someone out with their dog on a leash – doing its business in the middle of my lawn. I am not talking about the curb area. I am talking about right in the middle of the lawn which is part of my private property.

Last week, it was my driveway – a man was standing there, 8 feet INTO my driveway, with his black and white dog doing a poo in the hedge. Sure, both parties picked up after their pets. But my lawn and driveway are PRIVATE PROPERTY. I don’t randomly find myself standing in the middle of my neighbors’ driveways or lawns, and by the same token, don’t expect to find others (especially with defecating pets) on mine.

The second party this past week to soil my lawn asked “What does it matter if I pick it up?” Well, 1) it’s my property 2) obvious hygiene reasons and my having kids and their friends who play on the lawn 3) it’s my property 4) it’s against town laws 5) did I mention it’s my property? and 6) you won’t find any critter of mine defecating on your lawn.

Please take a look at the town’s regulations on this below (https://ecode360.com/7185544). And be warned: I will have my cameras ready for the next incursions.

What do you say readers? Have you encountered anything similar and how would you handle?

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  1. Coupled with the lovely owners who feel it’s perfectly fine to deposit the bagged “deposit” into my garbage can. (Not realizing that frequently said “deposit” ends up all over the garbage men.)

    But, as I’ve seen, dog owners are some of the most inconsiderate folks around. So pooping on a lawn sounds about right.

  2. I remember a few months ago there being a B-net posting from someone on Valley who was having issues w people not picking up after their dogs. As someone who lived near that home, I know a few of us knew at least one of the culprits was a 20ish woman who owned a shih tzu. Several times, I saw her walk several (8 or so) feet into our (landlord’s) property for her dog to do its business. The second time I saw her doing it while I was out there she just looked at me and smiled as I called her a few choice words. Clueless.

    And prof, not all dogs owners are inconsiderate. Just as not all professors are pompous elitists.

  3. Several people in my nabe even let their dogs run hog-wild without a leash, and *never* pick it up. Infuriating. Don’t they know that dogs can contract all kinds of nasties from sniffing other dogs’ doodies?

    Pick. It. Up!!! It’s for the greater good, both two- and four-legged!

    I have to agree that if the dog is in the middle of your yard or halfway down the driveway, it matters not whether it’s picked up – it just feels wrong! Almost akin to me saying, Gee I’m a little hot and tired from my walk around town this afternoon… hey, that random stranger’s porch sure looks inviting, I think I’ll go up and sit in their rocking chair for a few minutes. really?

    If Fido does his business at the edge of the lawn, or along the parkway strip between the street and sidewalk – I have no problem (IF you pick it up). Then again I don’t have little kids running around the yard any more, in which case I’d probably go purchase some of those lawn treatment flags and put them up everywhere, hoping to scare the owner away from a ‘treated’ yard…

  4. @ raeven, Funny how after you go on about shih tzu’s business, that you admonish me about how inconsiderate dog owners are.

    In the last month, we had that whole exchange about Mill’s Reservation. I’ve been chased a number of times in Brookdale Park. Seen far too many dogs without a leash. Owners failing to pick up, and now this? C’mon.

    If you are a considerate dog owner, don’t be offended.

    I stand by my comment. (But as I’ve witnessed here, dog owners are a pious bunch, so I imagine more will follow your lead.)

  5. I actually have the opposite problem. I have the rudest neighbors ever and at one point they had a sign like the image accompanying this story on their lawn. It made me want to volunteer to walk dogs just to let them poop on their lawn. They dump bulk waste on the curb weeks before pick up and a few times let it roll into the street. The volume from the husband fixing ( yet rarely riding) his motorcycle goes on for hours. The wife is never just driving, she’s driving and eating a granola bar or chatting on her phone. And I’m pretty sure they are renting out at least 1 room in their house. So before you get upset about dogs pooping on your lawn maybe do a self check that you aren’t the type of neighbor pooping on everyone else.

  6. hrhppg….Well, someone’s pooping on my lawn (I hope it’s a dog and not a neighbor!) ’cause my wife likes to track it into the house after doing yardwork.
    And yesterday I found another poop package in my garbage can courtesy of one of my neighbors…..How thoughtful!

  7. Allowing your dog to have bad poop habits is bad. And usually you can tell when the dog is looking for a place to go so you can guide them to a more appropriate place. My boy is pretty well trained to go only around public trees and mulch near our building. But sh*t? Well it happens. He stopped in the middle of the crosswalk last week, and nothing was moving him until he finished his movement.

  8. So people other than dog owners do bad things too. So what? WTF does that have to do with the fact that inconsiderate, boorish people let their dogs defecate on others’ property? Don’t do it!

  9. I might be mistaken but I think Baristanet used Australia’s sign for “No Kangaroo Pooping On The International Do Not Symbol”.

  10. “So before you get upset about dogs pooping on your lawn maybe do a self check that you aren’t the type of neighbor pooping on everyone else.”

    —typical misdirectional poop from a dog lover. the way you drip condescension over your neighbor’s driving habits tells me exactly who the bad neighbor really is.

  11. I used to live in Hoboken and putting the dog poop bag (tied up) into someone elses garbage can was pretty common. The local blog over there had a debate on it and it seemed pretty even as to if this was okay or not. I think if it’s tied up, it’s probably alright but maybe out here in the burbs it’s a little different. In Hoboken the cans often belong to the building not to individual tenants. What does Baristanet think?

  12. When I first got our dog years ago, I did, a handful of times, put the tied up bag in an uncollected can of garbage at the side of the road. I then read that you weren’t supposed to do that, so I never did again. I don’t know the technical reason, but I do know one issue is that the baggies often sink to the bottom of the can and don’t end up getting thrown out in the town garbage and therefore accumulate and get gross at the bottom of the garbage which is bad enough when it’s your own but unfair to someone who doesn’t even own the dog the poop belongs to.

  13. Dropping a crap bag in someone’s trash or recycling can (yes, they do that, too) is definitely NOT okay. They never seem to make it into the garbage truck. Instead, they sit in the bottom of the can until the owner of the can removes it. It’s not someone else’s job to take care of your dog’s crap. I’m with the prof on this one. Too many inconsiderate dog owners.

  14. Well, someone’s pooping on my lawn (I hope it’s a dog and not a neighbor!)

    PAZ, you get my vote for featured comment!!!! LOL!

  15. OK, here is my rule of thumb.
    I think you are on solid ground if you keep your dog no more than one leash length from the edge of the road. I use standard 6′ leashes.
    I base this on the municipal right of way which can be about 6-8′ from a typical street edge, regardless of whether there is a sidewalk or not.
    Yes, you should always pick up and do not dispose in private receptacles or leaf bags.

  16. I am from There Are No Bad Dogs, Just Bad Neighbors School. This is not rocket science. If your dog poops, pick it up. And don’t walk your dog on private property. It’s the law, it’s unsanitary, and it’s part of the the responsibility of owning a pet. People who continually do this, after being asked nicely, should be called out on it. Perhaps someone should start a shaming web site that posts the offenders’ names and photos.

  17. montclairskier – I am a dog owner and home owner and have a corner property so lots of room for passing dogs to do their thing. My own dog always goes in a certain ara of our own yard and I pick it up myself. If I walk her and she goes, I always bring back her crap-bag and put it in a bigger bag within my garbage can. Why you ask?….

    Neighbors – often unknowingly and innocently enough – will throw their baggies in my trash cans when they are by the curb (and sometimes more nefariously they throw the bag right on the ground by the cans too). The garbage men then come around for the cans but they don’t always pick up and dump the can into the truck. Rather they take the big bags out by hand and throw them into the truck. The little blue doggie bag then winds up settling on the bottom of my trash can. And if it rains before I get home to bring them in, the water floods the bottom (b/c the garnage men don’t put the lid back on) and the crap-filled bag causes a foul soup on the bottom of the can for me or my kid to eventually clean out.

    So please be considerate of your neighbors and dispose of your dog waste in your own garbage.

  18. Last week someone tied up their blue poop bag and just left it on my curb. (Not a trash day–no cans anywhere.) When I first saw it there, I thought, OK, maybe they didn’t feel like carrying the poop around the block, but surely they will come back and get it on their way home–because who would leave a poop bag on someone else’s curb? Well, they never came back… I guess it’s marginally better than leaving the poop there unbagged, but ewww.

    Like raeven, I used to think it was OK to toss a poop bag in a not-yet-emptied garbage can, but I learned from Bnet that it’s not kosher, so now I carry it home. Who says you can’t teach an old dog owner new tricks?! (I still think a dumpster in a driveway is fair game, but I bet someone will correct me.)

  19. i agree, throwing doggie doo in a trash can and letting it sit in the garbage especially in the summer months and the smell just wafts through your windows.. dog owners are the worst especially when one owns a 200lb dog in an apt building that barks all day. why do people insist on owning a dog when you are working 10 hours a day? what a horrible life for an animal to be cooped up all day and drive apt neighbors crazy with incessant barking. i just dont get it.

  20. I also love the idea of everyone being cooped up all f@%king winter and when the weather finally gets nice everyone goes outside and throws dog sh*t at one another. That never happened in John Cheever stories.

  21. I am on a corner and have been watching the same couple walk their two large dogs on my lawn as well as the corner piece of land that is outside my fence. It is my property- I’ve had to pay for the tree removal! My kids play there and it’s just plain rude so I’ve taken to loudly slamming my front door when they are out there or going into my yard but at this point I think I have to say something. I’ve seen them cross the street when they see me coming outside and I want to put a no dog pooping sign up( is it really so wrong to do that??). I’m not sure what to say- hello you don’t know me but I see you let your dogs walk on my lawn and poop on my property all the time so please stop?? I’m astonished at the poor behavior of people, not the dogs. When I drop my kids at school, every morning I see the same couple walk around the park with their dogs off leash and the dogs are walking up to the parked cars, pooping everywhere and the people are halfway around the park not even paying attention. It’s amazing.

  22. The last time this happened to me, I happened to see who it was. I went out, scooped the poop into a plastic bag and then ran down the street after her, handing her the bag.

  23. LOL, Caphilly. Would have loved to see that! As an added touch, you should have said to her, in a upper class British accent, “Excuse me, Madam, you forgot your grey poo poo!”

  24. Well, having your pet poop on private property is against the law, and there are fines and penalties that may be incurred. The only place a pet can poop, according to Montclair’s town ordinances, is ON THE STREET, BETWEEN THE CURBS. See these relevant paragraphs from the town’s ordinances (caps are mine):

    “No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog shall permit, cause or suffer such dog to soil, defile or defecate on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, street, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or upon any public property whatsoever, OR UPON ANY PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE OWNER OF SAID PROPERTY. The foregoing restriction shall not apply to that portion of the street lying between the curblines, or the sides of the street bed if there are no curblines …”

    And that’s followed by ordinances on proper disposal of the feces.

    Flouters may be punished by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 3 months of jail and/or community service.

  25. Perhaps having your neighbors leave their dog poop on your yard is part of the town’s “Tudor charm”…

  26. @jcunningham – did you perhaps mean, “TURDor charm” ?? LOL

    I am stunned to see that ordinance though; on the street?? My word, who’d have thought!?

  27. I’m done venting; I’m in retribution mode. Does anyone have any suggestions? I like dogs but I am to the point that I am happy to let them experience discomfort in order to make a point. I’ve entertained covering my front yard with some kind of burning pepper that they might track home to their owners’ homes. Anyone have ideas? Has anyone effectively gotten revenge on the horrible people who let their dogs crap on other people’s property?

  28. Umm seriously bigmama? You are going to harm a dog b/c their owner is irresponsible?
    That would be like slapping someone else’s child b/c the parent didn’t stop them from running around a restaurant.
    Good luck with the ensuring lawsuits.

  29. People who walk their dogs in certain neighborhoods do so because they reside in those very neighborhoods. They are not random dog walkers who live in another part of town and most likely reside not more than a few blocks away.

    When you observe an owner permitting his/her dog to relieve their pet on you lawn, confront them. If they haven’t already cleaned up the mess, demand that they do so. If this persists, follow them home, take down their address, and report them to the Montclair Health Dept. If this continues, keep this thread going as an open forum and report their name and address here.

  30. ” I like dogs but I am to the point that I am happy to let them experience discomfort in order to make a point.”

    This thread is just getting ugly.

  31. pat – neighbors yes, friends no. Not if they allow this.

    bigmama – no dog should be allowed to “experience discomfort in order to make a point.” That is pure nonsense and just plain cruel!

  32. The only place dogs should be pooping is on the street, between the curbs. This is a common ordinance in many localities. It’s also the source of the phrase, “curb your dog.”

  33. I’m not bothered by dogs; it’s pet cats that drive me nuts. Why do people who have ‘pet house cats’ let them roam all over our neighborhood? They wantonly terrorize the birds. kill bunnies, birds for sport. and cat pee is real bad for plants. I’m glad I bought a slingshot.

  34. I abhor the crap bag droppers, am equally pissed off at cats wandering the neighborhood using my garden as a litter box and really hate the groundhogs stealing all my veggies from the garden. That doesn’t translate, however, into causing them physical harm via a slingshot, burning feet or any other cruel method. I guess venting is as much relief as I will get.

  35. crank – Safe to say that most people who have ‘pet house cats’ don’t voluntarily let them out of the house and “let them roam all over” your neighborhood. Most likely scenario is that they dart out the door unknowingly when opened.

    Careful with that slingshot. You’ll shoot your eye out!

  36. Wow. Some really nice neighbors around here. How about nicely asking the offending person to pick up the dog mess because it’s an ordinance.

  37. Whatever. Point out the regulations. Ask nicely. Harming the animal because the person is ignorant is clearly going too far. What a bunch of Mr. Wilson’s. “GET OFF MY LAWN”.

  38. The squirrels are digging up my tulips, the neighbor’s dog is killing my plants with his pee so I put up a little temporary fencing until they’re large enough to cope. Her kid runs on my lawn too, I can yell at him or put spikes on the lawn. Same with the driveway, I’m a the end of a dead end, should I put tire shredding spikes there? We’re fortunate enough to have homes and live where we do we don’t need to be nasty about it.

  39. “Whatever. Point out the regulations”

    —so it is the responsibility of non-dog owners to point out the town ordinances to dog owners? cause dog owners may not be aware of the ordinances that exist to govern their pet that i might magically be aware of?

    how’s about asking that folks take responsibility for their own actions and for their own knowledge, and stop passing the buck?

    PS—i assume “whatever” means “yes, you are correct, but i’m too obstinate to acknowledge this formally”?

  40. Ahhh, don’t get me started on the local feral cat colony. I’ve tried everything under the sun to get them to quit using my yard and garden as a litter box and it’s quite hopeless. But it does prove the truth of that saying – they definitely don’t “go” where they eat!

    p.s. JG, we *have* asked them to pick it up, and they won’t…and then they come back and do it again… but I would never harm the dog, it’s not his fault he has a rotten owner.

  41. Gee, jcunningham, you’re sounding a bit like a tea party member there. “Whatever” was a response to someone saying it should be common courtesy rather having to point out the regulations. No need to be nasty to people, especially one’s neighbors.

  42. But why, jersey, must the honus be on the homwowner, whose lawn ia being pooped on, to point out the regulations when everyone knows that it is not only illegal, but discourteous, and a health issue?

    Are you suggesting that the dog walker is not aware that it is all of these things?

  43. I’m only suggesting being a bit kinder in dealing with people who either don’t know or don’t want to obey regulations for whatever reason. I have asked a neighbor repeatedly to stop doing something that is against local laws and poses a certain danger to everyone on the block yet they continue to do it. So, I’ve stopped asking and accept it. They’re nice people, they’re not stupid – just inconsiderate about one thing, well two if you count the dog peeing on my plants – but they are neighbors and I have to live with them. There’s no point in being nasty, it won’t change anything.

  44. Really upset at the poster who suggested taking it out on the dogs. Blame the owners, not the dogs. Geez, dogs don’t have prefrontal lobes like us “higher life forms” so I hardly think they’re doing it on purpose just to tick you off. Blame the owner who walks him/her there!

  45. Not too long ago, as I was getting ready to run some errands, I noticed a man who lives in a townhouse complex in our neighborhood walking away after his german shepard made a deposit. I asked if he was going to pick it up and he said he had to go home and get a bag. To his credit, as I was pulling out of the driveway he was scooping the poop. As I passed him, however, he felt obliged to provide me with a two handed middle finger salute.

  46. jersey – generally speaking, I find the notion of being kinder to people who refuse to obey the law not only absurd, but also irresponsible, especially, as in your case, when it “poses a certain danger to everyone.”

  47. Well, silverleaf, it’s not significant and I’m not going to start a war with a neighbor. If you check all the local ordinances and go from home to home you’ll probably find that there are a lot of people who are scofflaws. They don’t register bikes or pets, they don’t get permits for new washers and dryers, they don’t stop for pedestrians in the walk way, they don’t have railings on their front steps at the right height, they park their cars on the street even when it’s snowing because they have to be right in front of the house at all times, they feed the meters in two hour parking zones, and on and on.

  48. I am a dog owner and I am mortified if my dog happens to stop and decides he can’t hold it on someone’s lawn — I think that is horribly rude! Sometimes it does just happen but it’s not a good practice. I have had probably 3 or 4 times now found bags of poop on my front property that is covered with ivy facing the sidewalk. I have to pick it up and throw it away unless I want MY yard to look all littered! I agree some dog owners are incredibly inconsiderate. I think I would put a sign up (curb your dog, private property) something like that – you are warranted if you have a serial offender in your neighborhood. It’s unreal.

  49. Why would anyone talk nicely to a law breaker just because he or she happened to live on your block? If we start being nice to poor scofflaws, next thing there’s be meth labs in the basement.

    My method is to keep a basket of small stones on the porch, within easy reach. Nothing instill civility like a micro-concussion to the forehead. 

  50. So if we’re on the subject of cats roaming all over- how about those who move and dump their poor un-neutered cats out in the outside – I’m feeding at least 5 ferals right now – they are all because a certain neighbor went into a nursing home and rather than either take the cats or find them homes- his family opted to dump them.

    I’ve been able to bring 2 of them inside by trapping and getting them their shots- one is a permanent resident in my home and the other is being socialized and will be adopted out.

    The rest will probably have to be trapped/neutered and get their shots- they are no able to be socialized – want no human attention and run from me even though they see me several times a week and know that I am putting out food.

    Bloomfield no longer has TNR (Trap Neuter and Release) – these cats will live their lives outside.

    YES it happens all over- Kristina from PAWS and others are trapping cats in east Orange

    10 in one friendly group- here is a message

    10 cats, friendly dumped cats, one injured, one possibly pregnant in E.ORANGE , N.J. ALL IN DANGER OF BEING POISONED BY people who don’t know any better.
    e-mail me at milliec10@yahoo.com or txt me at 201-232-5625 if you can take one of these cats and save a life, we can help you get the cat –

    And 60 (yes sixty) in another group- some of them cannot be adopted out
    Working in East Orange, NJ (a highly urban area), our work parking lot is a flurry with kitties. We are working with a person from PAWS in Montclair, NJ who used to work at this exact location years ago. She implemented a TNR program (trap, …


  51. Yes, those cats are a nuisance. Unlike dogs, which are usually on a leash, the cats on our block roam around with impunity. Another reason that baskets of rocks comes in handy. Good for raccoons, too.

  52. Oh Roo- why would you stone one of those poor creatures – out in the freezing weather – with no comfort- can’t you see that most of them are starving?

  53. No no no, Pat. Those cats are owned and fed and housed by neighbors, and left to roam my backyard pooping all over the place. Pooping! With impunity!

  54. jersey – “Poses a certain danger to everyone” or “not significant.”
    Which, I wonder, should we accept as truth?

  55. No Roo- these cats come begging for food, water, and for shelter during he horrible cold that we had this winter- some of them are no longer coming so I’m sure that they died and those that have come back are terribly thin.

    It’s a horrible life and we irresponsible human have made it so,

  56. No Roo- these cats come begging for food, water, and for shelter during he horrible cold that we had this winter- some of them are no longer coming so I’m sure that they died and those that have come back are terribly thin.

    It’s a horrible life and we irresponsible human have made it so.

  57. We had the dog poop issue in our Bloomfield area as well. It got so bad that we were finding piles right next to our front flower bed. We could never identify the mysterious pooper so I printed out copies of the town ordinance and delivered it to every house within a 3 block radius. Haven’t seen a pile since. It was a pain in the arse, but it seems to have worked.

  58. I went to the town a few weeks ago, after 8 years of politely asking my neighbor to pick up after his dog who poops on our lawn while running around leash-less on a daily basis. I wrote him anonymous letters, wrote him signed letters, and asked him face to face a number of times to not let his dog out unleashed, and to always pick up after his dog. Still we constantly have to tell our kid to check the lawn before she can play because of the dog’s poop. People in the code office said I could file a complaint. That would mean I have to fill out a form, testify in court, and then he could be fined $500- the town presses the charges. I don’t want to go to court over this. So, I asked the town engineer for an ‘official’ curb your dog sign. I’d pay for it! It was finally installed this week, as promised. No charge at all. So tonight as we saw the pup perusing our yard again, I took a chance to let our neighbor know that “the town is going to press charges and fining people.” I HOPE this madness will end. Bad neighbor behavior! If it doesn’t stop, I may just wind up bringing it to court.

  59. You are a good and forgiving neighbor, mominmtc. After all of your patience, I would have gone into my garage, taken my shovel, picked up the poop, and deposited it right back onto my neighbors front door mat. Would have saved you all that time and effort. Guarantee it would not happen again. Inconsiderate people.

  60. Oooh, mominmtc! that’s brilliant! I’m gonna ask for one too – they can install it right on the town’s own property, which seems to have become an unofficial dog park, and maybe it will prevent the scofflaws from continuing the madness.

    Silverleaf, I understand that desire, truly! but when the people live in a multi-unit apartment building, I can’t in good conscience leave such a present on the front stoop – I don’t know if all the dog owners in there are offenders or not.

  61. Here’s a story that’d make anyone ‘prit near psychotic:

    -neighbours move in with 2, sometimes 3 very nasty and unpleasant dogs
    -last spring I stepped in one of literally dozens of piles of shit, not to mention the 100+ piles of it I’ve picked up this spring alone
    -they know I stepped in it and she actually walked the dogs, but visibly hated it…and only for a few days
    – they let their dogs out, they immediately run into my yard and scare the cats away, then shit & piss on the lawn anywhere…that’s after they bark like mad dogs and I think I’ll get bitten one day (I HOPE I DO)
    -my father said they come over and look for the mess after the fact
    -as soon as he said that, I found a pile, put the shit in the bag with a football sized ball of it already picked up, then saw two more piles
    -when I see a pile now, I have a little hissy fit…I cannot seem to get over the fact that they even think it’s okay to allow their nasty dogs to act like that on someone else’s property.
    -I’ve actually overheard the guy bad-mouthing me while I was in the shed. The window is 3 feet from the tin shed, and the sound gets literally amplified. He is extremely inconsiderate, and I never ever thought I’d have an asshole neighbour scenario. I always thought WTF is it with people and neighbours? Now, I know in spades
    -this guy just has no consideration but for him and his motley crue of family & friends
    -the lady beside him is near crippled…she has to walk about 50 yards to get to her vehicle because of Mr. Inconsiderate fleet of cars and trucks all over the street…not to mention the crap he constantly puts in his tiny yard…no respect for anyone
    -someone or something from their home is making me feel very uncomfortable and I’ve never felt this way before in my 54 years of life
    -if they bend the rules to make it easier on them, then I’ll have to do the same…and not because I’m a bad person, just tired of picking up and stepping in dog shit and urine on a regular basis…ANY SUGGESTIONS AT ALL FOLKS? Before I snap? Sorry, but I have extreme Coprophobia…the fear of faecal matter. What is so damn wrong ewith me? They think I’m making something out of nothing. Well, if it’s nothing, then we’ll see how he likes stepping in shit a few times…I don’t care at this point.

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