Garbage Days – Dog Barker

By: Joel Allen

Hello folks, I hope this finds everyone well. This article I write today makes me think of a dog I was fostering from the shelter years ago. She was Lab and Dane mix and she was a big girl. To see her, I never thought she would be a “fence jumper,” but she had me fooled. The first time she jumped my fence and ran with the neighbor’s dogs, I did not realize she had done it because she was smart enough to jump back into the yard around feeding time. It was not until one day when I went to feed everyone that I noticed she was missing. On top of that, she was getting into my neighbor’s trash on trash day. When I learned all of this, I began to keep a closer eye on her. I even talked with my neighbors about her, asking them not to harm her and promising to clean any mess she made up. I kept my promise but for her safety, I eventually had to get her to another foster that had a bigger fence. As far as I know, she is still doing well today.

Why am I sharing this? Every garbage day, I witness trash being torn into by other neighbors’ dogs. I have even spoken to those who let their dogs run loose. It has done little good. In the county, there is no leash law; so dogs can run loose. But, they can be picked up by Animal Control, and anyone who has to pick up their dog from the animal shelter will need to pay a fee; and if there is no proof of a rabies vaccine, there will be a fee for that too. Some of us jokingly refer to this as “Doggie Jail.” In saying that, let this be a reminder that if someone is missing their dog, they should always check the shelter first.

How can we prevent dogs from raiding the garbage every garbage day? Who is responsible if this does happen? We are all equally responsible, the garbage owner and the dog’s owner. Even with no leash law in the county, every dog should be kept up with. But there are many who think letting their dog run loose is okay. It is alright on the dog owner’s property, but not off the property. Anyway, if the garbage is yours, know that putting food scraps or even food into the trash without properly bagging it will attract dogs and other animals. It will only lead to a huge mess requiring clean up.

So, let’s talk about what can be done as preventive measures. What I always do, and this never fails me, is I wake up before the garbage truck runs its route and put my bagged garbage out. Every now and again, my neighbors, who always place their garbage out the night before, get raided by the dogs or other animals. Now, let me say that some of my neighbors never have this problem even when they put their garbage out the night before, and that is because they take preventive measures and bag any food scraps so the scent is not detectible. If I were to allow food to be in my trash, I would bag it, seal it well, and use Febreze, which is a magical product that covers scent very easily. Garbage cans are another option, but in our county, all trash must be bagged, or it will not be picked up. For a garbage can to be effective, it should be secured in place to prevent being knocked over.

Another sure method to prevent dogs from raiding the garbage is to keep them put up. Let me remind those who are having problems with their trash being raided, please be patient and speak to those who own the dogs. Try and be as diplomatic as possible. Hot tempers will only lead to disputes and can harm neighbor relations. Please, please, please, do not shoot your neighbor’s dog as a way to solve the problem because many of us love our dogs as if they were our own kids. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get crazy when it comes to my dogs; and I imagine many think like me. We certainly do not need a “John Wick” problem either. One more thing, poison is a bad idea too. Not only will it harm the dog, but what if the poison was carried back to a child who loves their dog? Think about these things. There are consequences to our actions, and I hope we all can get along. Be responsible and keep your dogs safe, and if it turns out your dog is the culprit, be responsible and clean up the mess they make. After all, if we are responsible dog owners, it is our duty to answer for what they have done.
By: Joel Allen