Because of all the dog poop, it was a challenge to walk on Dupont sidewalks when I moved here 37 years ago. Walking remained challenging for the next 15 or so years. Then DCCA President Marilyn Groves met a neighbor on the sidewalk. The neighbor had a new and very large puppy. The woman joked about how big the puppy would become and how much poop he would produce when grown. Then they talked about what a serious problem dog poop was. Dog poop was a nuisance to avoid stepping in, but also as a public health hazard since rats eat dog poop and that spreads diseases.
Everyone complains about problems. A community activist complains about a problem and then looks for a solution and then implements a solution. Marilyn’s solution was to ask a local artist to design a sign. The artist wanted to soften and lighten the “Scoop Your Pet’s Poop” message so she drew a white dog with a pooper scooper and a dog tag that reads, “Scoop.” Department of Public Works regulated public space signage then and they granted permission for the signs to be posted in public space. DCCA produced the anodyne aluminum signs and sold them at cost.
The original sign read, “$50. fine.” DCCA was instrumental in making those signs out of date by successfully lobbying to raise the fine to $100.00. The current signs read, “Be Considerate, It’s the Law.” The signs made a significant difference in reducing dog poop and keeping our sidewalks clean.
Next Chapter: A later DCCA President, Marge Young, had an idea that was too embarrassing to tell anyone, so she called me.
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