When it comes to discussing our furry (or not-so-furry) companions, it seems that pet lovers have the ability to vociferously disagree on virtually any topic that arises. Whether it is preferred training methods, the healthiest diet, cats vs. dogs vs. parrots, safe and appropriate toys, or even what breeds (or non-breeds) are "better" than others, it is hard to find any subject incapable of stirring a heated debate.
But despite our differences, there is one thing I think we can all agree on: that not picking up after one's dog is a high crime against all that is good and holy in this world, and a clear sign of sociopathy. It's rude, gross, poses threats to health and the environment, and fosters a culture in which all pet owners are considered a potential nuisance.
So should it be any surprise that Washington state had paid $27,000 to produce a YouTube video encouraging people to pick up their dogs' poop? That may be a pretty hefty price tag, but given that it's probably the only thing everybody could agree upon, what should we expect?
Whether or not this has any effect on pick-up rates remains to be seen. The importance of cleaning up after one's pets is something that (anecdotally, at least) appears to be sinking in with the general public*, and education efforts such as this may help move the ball forward somewhat in that regard.
Of course, this won't help with the dog poop sociopaths, that small contingent of people who simply will not pick up after their dogs, whose behavior is completely immune to any sort of reasoning, begging, or pleading. No, I'm afraid that for them, bringing back the pillory may be the only way to solve the problem. But for everybody else, the doggy-doo fence-sitters of the world, it might actually have an impact, even if the bang for buck ratio ends up being somewhat embarassing...
But can you Vapoorize it?
*When when we installed several free poop-bag dispensers in areas with high doggy-traffic twenty years ago, they went unused... then vandalized and destroyed. But there has been definite progress over the last two decades. While bag thieves and hoarders are still an issue, most people are actually excited to find them -- and they use them!