Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Much Ado About Poo

According to Tom Casey's report in today's Register-Star, the major topic at the Common Council Police Committee meeting was dog feces on Warren Street: "City works on poopy problem." It seems that Council president Don Moore was looking to the police for recommendations. Maybe a few signs along Warren Street informing residents and visitors that they are expected to clean up after their dogs might be useful.


  1. I think the thing to do is for the HPD to stop dog walkers and request that they show they are carrying a "picker-upper" for their dog's feces -- the City Code requires all dog walkers to carry something suitable and disposable for this. Of course, if the City was really interested in lessening the amount of dog shit on the streets, we'd put out more trash cans on streets besides Warren. It's one thing to pick it up; another entirely to carry it around for a half hour until you find a public trash can.

  2. If the HPD is so into this why can't they even keep the daily poop from in front of their own building ? Almost daily we have to monitor the sidewalk here to keep our shops clean.

  3. This could all be resolved if HPD walked the beat, the SOP is to spend far too much time in their vehicles. At the very best they bike in the summer, which I laud wholeheartedly, but community policing means walking the streets.

    I encourage citizens to request the HPD walk their beats, it would help them interface with the community, and at the very least familiarize themselves with issues anyone walking our city is already fully aware of.

    1. If the HPD walked the beat, there would be a lot less crime as well as a lot less dog poop.

    2. In ancient times the HPD did walk the streets - and checked shop door to make sure they weren't mistakenly left unlocked - and most importantly - interacted with the community that pays their salaries.

  4. When dealing with law breakers, Hudson residents might at least consider the holistic and common sense strategies of the late, great James Q. Wilson.

    It was Wilson and Kelling's 1982 "Broken Windows" theory which argued that tolerating slight infractions directly results in much more serious crime.

    Consider the appearance and effect of Hudson's shabbier alleys and yards - a code enforcement issue - which sends a message that crime is tolerated in this or that neighborhood, and that crime pays.

    Both aldermen above reinforce Wilson's points, eluding to the civic responsibilities of citizens and government alike: dog walkers carrying bags; Hudson's bag-carrying law enforced; trash barrels that are regularly emptied; police beats conducted on foot (that last always emphasized by Wilson).

    Now to the approach (read: excuse) of Hudson's Police Chief, quoted by the Register Star: "It's a hard nut to crack," [Richardson] said. "It's a violation which has to be witnessed by the officer in order for them to take any action."

    For a description of the Chief's solution to the problem - at least according to the newspaper - it’s all a matter of making sure that bags are available.

    Did he really say something like that? That would not be a proper understanding of Hudson's laws, and it would beg the question of his approach to law enforcement generally. If he really believes that it's all a matter of making sure that bags are available, then our Police Chief's philosophy is the opposite of Wilson's.

    The City Code clearly states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to walk a dog on a leash or otherwise accompany a dog without a device suitable to cause the removal of the stools of such dog's defecation for sanitary disposal under this regulation" (70-4).

    In his own defense I'll give the final word to the Police Chief himself, though for this student of Wilson's it sounds like pure bologna:

    “The fact of the matter is you have to stay vigilant ...”

  5. An afterthought:

    Henceforth, and out of solidarity with the officers if not the brass, whenever I sight a police car while out walking my dog I plan to wave my plastic bag in the air.

    If we can't get top-down leadership in Hudson, then let's practice humorous incentives that work from the bottom-up. (MIK! Check!)

    If that doesn't encourage them to get out of their cruisers and enforce the laws already on the books then I don't know what will.

  6. Cops walking the beat is an excellent idea,and the only effective solution,
    that could be deployed easily and immediately.
    A big chunk of our city tax dollars goes to police dept
    Getting the cops out of their cars would save money.
    They seem to ticket cars around here very well,
    they should be able to ticket dog owners,who don't scoop
    But then...
    HPD can't control open drug trade and concealed weapons
    on my block right off Warren
    and they supposedly have cameras.
    They can't stop illegal garbage dumping in the alleys.
    the City of Hudson won't get the Bldg. Dept. to enforce HPC Codes,
    endangering the historic architectural heritage ,we have left
    The City of Hudson does not enforce a lot of Codes ,when it suits them.
    Dog Poop?
    how about enforcing code on the condition of the actual sidewalks,not just on Warren,
    that all building owners are responsible for,including construction sites
    If the City looked liked it cared ,it would be treated with more care.
    More garbage receptacles are a good idea,but not just on Warren
    The trouble is,since the population must pay for City garbage bags,there is a lot of misuse of these receptacles and people's private dumpsters and just outright dumping
    Again, beat cops would be helpful here as well.

    but back to dog poop
    I do not see that many children walking dogs
    I see grown ups who live in the community with their dogs ,who on the most part, are well behaved.
    There is no excuse for anyone not cleaning up after their dog.
    Visitors with dogs know the rules
    It's pretty much Universal Code in American cities and comes with a fine.
    so help the HPD out
    If YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING,as the Amtrak jingle goes.

    Hudson has a large dog population.
    Not everyone has cars or yards.
    Hudson needs a Dog Park,
    respectful of neighbors
    with proper bag dispensers,sanitary disposal bins, a source of water,
    a safe fenced in place for dogs to run around and exercise in and where dogs and dog owners can both socialize.
    There is a petition with over 500 signatures that agrees with that.
    "The Dog Park of Hudson,NY "
    is the face book page for people who are interested
    1st Ward Supervisor Sarah Sterling is heading up committee
    Send email to this group: hudson-dog-park-admin@googlegroups.com
    The last meeting was held right before the Dog Park Table at Winter Walk.
    Spring is nearly here.There has not been a suitable location found yet that is within walking distance for most people.
    I hope that the Dog Park Group can regain some momentum,enthusiasm and assistance.
    and I hope we can get some cops on regular neighbourhood beats.

  7. There is an empty lot behind my place at 123 Warren, between the Alley and Union St. It is a very popular spot for dog walkers who unleash their dogs to go into the lot and do their business. It's a fecal minefield. Likewise in the alley. Add to that the stray cats and opossums, it's a ringworm festival back there.

  8. This is exactly why Hudson needs a clean, safe Dog Park.
    the information is posted above.
    There are no ownerless lots in Hudson.The lot you are describing must face Union Street.Get in touch with your Alderman.
    For the wild cats,perhaps AnimalKind should be consulted.
    Opossums,well they were here first but some people exterminate them like rats
    It sounds like the Bldg.Dept. needs to force the owner to secure the yard,just from the wildlife.
    It's private property and anyone who goes on it,is trespassing.
    People who are good neighbours and care for their dogs ,would not let them run loose
    in such a place as you have described, and besides trespassing, there are leash laws.
    Also, just because a dog is walked in the alley,doesn't mean the owner doesn't have to
    clean up after the dog
    Have HPD set up a camera as a deterent
    More reasons for beat cops.

  9. Clearly the HPD got the message that dog poop is a problem, because they stopped my husband on the street this morning while he was out with our dog to make sure he had bags.

    I agree that a dog park in Hudson is much needed. We currently take our dog to Bunker Hill Dog Park in Athens for running and regularly scheduled (and posted on Facebook) doggy play dates.

    I also agree that we as residents and responsible dog owners should speak out when we see someone violating the clean-up law. Thanks to our pets, we are all out on the street multiple times each day, so we have the opportunity to have an impact on the problem by directly addressing it with offenders.

  10. Thanks for the news, Tiff.

    The officers should be congratulated and encouraged for enforcing the law. It can't be pleasant for the cops, and some will invariably mistake it for harassment.

    Yesterday, in solidarity with a sensible law enforced by many cities, I raised a plastic bag above my head as a baffled police car drove passed my dog and me.