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PooPoo Neighbor
updated: Feb 09, 2013, 6:14 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

What can we do with a neighbor who never picks up after their two dogs? We live in an apartment complex in West Beach where there is a couple who never pick up after their two dogs. We have informed them nicely that they need to start cleaning up, we have put plastic bags in the laundry room for them to use, yet they just continue to not pick up after their dogs. It gets worse - they stand there smoking cigarettes while their dog does it's duty, then toss the cigarette onto the lawn and walk away - leaving cigarette butts and dog poop. Is there something legally that we can do? The management company is aware of the problem, yet have not evicted them or given them any warnings.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 372678 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:24 PM

Crap on their welcome mat. Put out a few smokes in the steaming pile then leave a note saying "CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOGS AND PICK UP YOUR BUTTS YOU SCUM".

I think they will get the message.


 COMMENT 372679P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:27 PM

There is a "pooper scooper" law in the city of SB, not in the county.

Google "santa barbara city law dog waste" and Audubon Society is the first link; seems to have other links there. (I'm limiting software plug ins.)

April 2012 re: dog laws:

And more, when you search.
I'd pursue it with management first. It's so very hard to rent in SB with a dog! These people, in my opinion, have a duty... oh well. Depending on how much you, OP, support dog ownership, you might want to play this yourself a little more, to see if you can enlighten your neighbors. They are doing more damage than they know. SB City Animal Control: 963-1513. Please document first. Call them and put them on notice, then send in your info.

I wish these "owners" realized how badly they are reflecting on responsible dog owners and how much damage they are doing to the already extremely low rental rate to dog owners...

stupid owners grumble grumble grumble


 COMMENT 372680 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:28 PM

They're littering. Call the cops. If the cops won't do their jobs by enforcing the law, scoop up their crap with a shovel and drop it on their lawn. (The neighbor's lawn, not a cop's.)


 COMMENT 372682P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:28 PM

That's a very bad management company, also, to not respond to complaints. They should do more. Hey, some do!
Sorry to say that the other suggestion is not beyond the pale....


 COMMENT 372683 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:29 PM

Keep after the management company -- it is their responsibility to prohibit tenants from leaving feces and cigarette butts in common areas. Speak to an actual person and ask them why they haven't taken any action.


 COMMENT 372685P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:29 PM

Maybe you need a new management company which I realize probably isn't up to you, but I'd get after management. Are others in the building bothered by this? If so, can you get them on board too? Not sure if there's any kind of solution available through the city, but perhaps other EdHatters might know. In the meantime, how about picking up the poop and depositing on the dog owners' front door step (under cover of dark of course!)? Good luck.


 COMMENT 372688P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:35 PM

Management company. Strong arm them...withhold rent, talk about going to the newspaper, ask to meet with manager with several tenants. You may be targeted by the scofflaws if you pursue them personally. They sound like they are totally inconsiderate.


 COMMENT 372689 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:35 PM

I have seen a lot of CoExist stickers on vehicles in mellow down easy Santa Barbara. Maybe it would be best to just coexist with your neighbors and/or pick up their mess for them. I see service dogs all over the place in town....in bars, in clothing stores, at CVS, and no one seems to mind. So, take it easy and put yourself in your neighbor's shoes - it's not the dog's fault for goodness sakes!! I like turtles myself.


 COMMENT 372692 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:40 PM

Why would you expect a person who has no respect for their body to give a hoot about a communal lawn?

This is the responsibility of your management company though and if they aren't enforcing the rules then they should be fired.

Personally notify the owner of the building, this kind of tenant will lose him the good ones and depreciate his property too.


 COMMENT 372693 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 06:41 PM

I'm pretty naiive when it comes to this sort of thing. It seems to me, though, if you can get the HOA to make a formal complaint or two, I think it helps to have it documented. Then when they don't do anything after some complaints, there usually is some kind of clause in the CCR's for people not following rules and basically bringing down the property value. Maybe there isn't such a clause in your case and they know they can get away with it. In that case you'll all have to put one in. In any case, it will take a lot of effort talking with everyone who lives there and getting them to agree that litter and poo are worth doing something about. Reading the post reminded me of a classic "Deep Thought" by Jack Handy. Please notice it's a joke:

"Sometimes when I feel like killing someone, I do a little trick to calm myself down. I'll go over to the person's house and ring the doorbell. When the person comes to the door, I'm gone, but you know what I've left on the porch? A jack-o-lantern with a knife stuck in the side of its head with a note that says, "You." After that I usually feel a lot better, and no harm done. "


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:14 PM

Maybe you can find some sort of natural odor that dogs hate and use it on the lawn for awhile..


 COMMENT 372714P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:22 PM

Hey 692, some who have a death wish still pick up their dog's stool!


 COMMENT 372723 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:30 PM

As property manager (and not for the property in question) it really helps if you have photos of video of what they are doing.

It is hard when one party says the other party did something with out a photo or proof and the offending tenants would probably be the type that claim discrimination and want to sue.


 COMMENT 372724 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:37 PM

Document everything... take photos of the dogs doing their business, of the tenants smoking nearby ignoring the dogs (line both up so they are all in the frame) and of the butt flicking... make sure it's all date tagged and repeat. With enough evidence the management company may have more to go on than just your word against theirs.


 COMMENT 372730 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:41 PM

Tell the landlord that you tracked dog shit all over your house when, without realizing it, you stepped in it on your way to your door.


 COMMENT 372732 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:56 PM

@680 - cops won't do anything about dog issues. It's Animal Control that you have to call and file a complaint. @quad-lix -- thanks for the LOL - knife in the jack-o-lantern...

Take pictures / video of the dogs doing it. Document. Then call Animal Control and file a complaint. Print up the City Ordinances and send them to the dog-poop idiot, so he has the warning.

It also attracks rodents, as dog poop is high in protein. Use this info with the property owners. Try and do everything in writing, so it's official. Then they can't ignore it. Good luck and let us know what happens.


 COMMENT 372741P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 08:18 PM

D8V: Animal Control in the city of Santa Barbara is the police. It would be surprising if they'd respond to this. They are low priority for the police and do not work on weekends.

Never heard that dog poop attracted rats; is that really so??


 COMMENT 372742 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 08:21 PM

Post the address... I'm in the neighborhood and I've got a steamy loaf 'bout to come out the oven.


 COMMENT 372755 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 09:16 PM

Agreed that neither the Police nor Animal Control would have any authority over this, as it sounds to be on private property. Keep after the Property Management company. You deserve to live poop-free!!


 COMMENT 372756P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 09:49 PM

Any chance we could get the name of the management company - just so we could avoid renting any property they (don't) manage?


 COMMENT 372759 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 10:09 PM

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_dog_feces_attract_rats below is copied from website. Answer:
Yes, rats can be attracted by animal feces. Inside the excrement there are usually bits of food that can be a valuable resource to the rat. In my many years of experience treating rat infestations, some of the worst have involved yards where dog feces is present

@741 Yes, dog poop attracts rats and other rodents. Rats will also eat cat poop.

from another website::::

FAQ - Poop Busters Pet Waste Management
Dog Waste cannot be used as a fertilizer. A pile of dog poop can take a year or more to fully breakdown. Dog Waste accumulation can attract mice and parasites.



 COMMENT 372760P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 10:45 PM

Bag it up. Put it on their doorstep. Light it on fire.

Watch to see what happens when they stomp it out.

Sorry for being flippant, but...


 COMMENT 372761P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 12:18 AM

Animal Control will respond to this, for the dog poop part. I am not surprised the management company is m.i.a. on this one. Get this on video, send to owner of complex.

We had a bad problem in our Upper East chi-chi neighborhood, with students having loud parties. The management company was useless. As soon as we contacted the owner, though, the students had to head on down the road.

As a dog owner, I am disgusted with your creepy neighbors. Good luck with all of this.


 COMMENT 372766P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 01:22 AM

There's a city law, dang it! I too have put out bags in my neighborhood on the street evne, they were rarely if ever used.



 COMMENT 372767 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 02:57 AM

@741: check your facts! Animal control is not the police. The police have a truck, but the police will not respond to a dog call! They tell you to call Animal Control during normal business hours. My neighbors and I complained to the police for almost two years about my next door neighbor that let his dog bark ALL. NIGHT and would turn him lose every morning to do his business on everyone else's yard. The police NEVER CAME! Not even for a disturbing the peace call in the middle of the night. And according to the law, there have to be a certain number of complaints, and from a variety of neighbors, before animal control can no longer ignore your complaints.


 COMMENT 372769P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 04:52 AM

@YPYETR - last time I checked, the minimum number of complains was only 2 for animal control to respond.
So get your neighbors together and get them to actually call animal control if you want something done.

The reason nothing happened is because you complained to the police: they do not care about dog barking calls and dispatch will never relay them to the cops. Only animal control will do something, and only if they get multiple calls on the address.

Animal control will respond if more than one person contacts them in a rational and non over emotional way ( so they don't think it is just a personal vendetta )

Also, recording the noise with video of the house/address and posting on Youtube can also sometimes work - send the Youtube link to the owner of the dog and all neighbors with in 3 blocks (whom can hear the dog). This can shame the person into taking care of it, and really does work in some cases. Make a new account just for the dog barking rather than use your own personal youtube account.

Also, look up the address on the following website. There you can find the owner's name and if it is a rental, contact them and let them know. (If the dog is violating the lease, your problem will be solved quick)

Let us know how it goes, YPYETR.


 COMMENT 372784P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 07:02 AM

Thanks, D8V! I had no idea about dog feces and rats. Although parts of SB city are overrun with rats and there's quite a lot of dog poop, I've never seen any signs of it being eaten, perhaps because they feed their dogs dry dog food which may be low in protein. But it's another reason to request it being picked up.

YPYTER: In the city of SB Animsl Control is a division of the PD: http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/Government/Departments/Police,
a very small division, not a high priority.

Here are the relevant city regs:http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/Government/Departments/Po
lice/City_of_Santa_Barbara_Animal_Control.htm. Note 6.12,020.


 COMMENT 372785 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 07:11 AM

Document the dirty deeds, forward to management co. and withhold rent. If no action contact the owner. The health dept. may be of assistance too. Last, call the tv producer of worlds worst tenants, or better, tell the landlord his building is going to be in a documentary about substandard housing in SB; ask if he wants his name in the same sentence as Dario Pini.


 PROGRESS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 07:26 AM

Video tape them and post on Edhat!


 COMMENT 372788 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 07:26 AM

The time is ripe for sensible dog control. lets ban the big ones because they look scary,first we need a big dog buyback program.Then a grace period,then confiscation.we also need to permit dog food purchases with some sort of limit, say one can per store visit. next we need to stop puppy sales in front of grocery stores with a 10 day waiting period. I'm confident with these new controls there will be no more dogs pooping on lawns.


 COMMENT 372794 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 08:05 AM

The best advice I've heard here is to withhold rent. Be sure to include an explanation in writing to both the management company and your lawyer. Be sure you cite any city regulations the apply as well as any bi-laws in your rental agreement that outline responsibilities of your rental management company. If you can get photos of the tenants with their dogs in the act this will support your case but photos of just the dogs doing their business should be enough since the owners of the dogs are responsible for their behavior. Place the funds you are withholding into a trust or have your lawyer hold the checks. Get the losers out of your complex as fast as you can they are probably into meth or something worse.


 COMMENT 372800 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 08:20 AM

The SB City ordinance says the poop must be scooped immediately.

SB Animal control WILL do something and give them a sanitation citation, You have to meet the burden of proof...have to have seen the poop leave the dog's butt. You must be absolutely sure.

I had a jerk of a neighbor whose family didn't scoop up after a Lab. They were formally warned by Animal Control that they will be cited next offence. An SBPD "CAD Call" document exists in the police files as permanent documentation. They didn't cite him then because it was his teenage sons walking the dog (minors).

He moved away, ut had there been another offience reported he would have been cited.


 SBSWEETPEA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 08:22 AM

How about buying a package of "poop" bags at the pet store and tying it to their front doorknob? You can get them in all kinds of "scents" and colors maybe this will make the task more appealing. I have dogs and always pick up their poop if I see someone who is not picking up their dog poop I go over and offer them a bag and they usually pick up after their dog. Next time you see the act offer him/her a bag see how they react. Good Luck


 SANDYINSB agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 08:37 AM

I believe the Police can site the offenders for "Littering" which has a hefty fine. Also, due to recent changes in the law, the owner of a property has some responsibility for their tenants, meaning they can be sued. This works well when you have an individual property owner, but dealing with any management company is always trying. If you do not get satisfaction from the management company, write a letter to the owner of the property and complain about the management company. If that's too difficult, a petition of the neighbors taken to the management company may do the trick. Check with the California Department of Consumer Affairs http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml


 COMMENT 372808 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 08:47 AM

Read and re-read your lease/rental agreement, looking for the appropriate section re: dog poop on common area. Contact landlord in writing with evidence attached. Be polite and firm. Do not withhold rent (yet) until the landlord has a chance to respond. Send your letter certified, copies to Animal Control and owners (if different from management company).

Repeat once. Not recommended: starting a fire on the offenders porch, leaving a pumpkin with a knife in it, leaving dog poop on offenders porch, talking to offender about it more than once, making threats, talking smack on facebook or on the internet. Just handle it like an adult. This means no passive-aggressive behavior, snark, smirk or smart-aleck type responses. If need be take some Growacet.


 COMMENT 372817 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 09:38 AM

I had a similar problem with a neighbor, and Animal Control was very helpful and responsive. I even got to know one of the guys, because he was staking out our street in his free time, trying to catch the lady letting her dog run free! I think he wrote her 3 citations before she finally stopped letting her dog run loose in the neighborhood.


 COMMENT 372827 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 10:46 AM

788, big dog buyback program... are you kidding me. I love your work. I can finally join the masses in declaring that I too have laughed out loud at an Edhat comment! Can we be friends?


 COMMENT 372828P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 10:48 AM

817, What's the person's name of the person at Animal Control that was so helpful to you?


 DEE D agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 10:52 AM

It is unfortunate that your neighbors persist in such in-your-face uncivil behavior. Reading through some of the comments it strikes me that it is not wise to escalate the apparent feud: There are a lot of unstable, stressed-out people out there, and instead of changing their behavior you could focus their negativity on you. The stalking and public-shaming suggestions seem particularly fraught with risk. Speaking first to the property manager, and then providing documentation to civil authorities seems the wisest course. Good luck.


 COMMENT 372840 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 11:11 AM

827, I expected the haters to pounce, but never to pick up a new buddy.Yes we are friends.


 COMMENT 372841 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 11:11 AM

I just got rid of a couple just like this in our rental - butts and poop everywhere - then the rats moved in - typical SB mentality - they threatened to sue me for the rats Good luck it took me 4 months to get rid of these social pysyco's -


 COMMENT 372846 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 11:40 AM

@dirtyharry - I would NOT recommend withholding rent and I don't think the poop is justifiable for with holding rent.

Yes, it will take 2 complaint calls for the same infraction, and multiple calls within a certain timeframe, before Animal Control takes it to the next level. (calls from 2 different people for the same complaint). But, with one complaint call, Animal Control tries to make contact with the owners and will leave a notice that a complaint has been filed.

As for rats eating poop ~ I used to have a secondary cat box outside and witnessed rats inside the cat box. And, I noticed that the cat box rarely had cat poop in there, at the same time seeing rats around. And, that's not a cat box that was cleaned on a regular basis, but was used by my cats and visiting cats all the time and would normally have lots of poop in there.


 COMMENT 372865 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 12:42 PM

Yet you had to "shampoo" your carpets after tracking in dog doo and that can be taken out of the rent. Hit the landlord in the wallet, that will get their attention.


 COMMENT 372869P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 12:50 PM

@865 - you can't make the landlord be responsible for YOU stepping in poop thats not on a walkway!!. You could try, but it won't fly!!!

I'll trade the OP... I'll come have a "chat" with the poopers-smokers, if you come have a "chat" with the howling dog owners across the street. yes HOWLING all the time, for hours and hours. What do you say...?? up for the trade???


 COMMENT 372872P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 12:54 PM

Just to clarify: Animal Control considers that two complaints filed (from two different parties) constitutes "a neighborhood." In other words, any time you want Animal Control to take your complaint seriously, whether it's about dog poop or dogs barking, you must first enlist the help of a nearby neighbor. Then: both of you call it in. Repeatedly, if necessary.

It worked for us, with barking dogs. PLEASE do not confront further these non-picker-upper and butt-littering asocial people, since you have already once mentioned their bad behavior to them. They don't sound like mentally stable people. Do Not engage further, but allow the authorities to handle it. Best of luck.


 COMMENT 372875P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 12:59 PM

@869P. Please read my post of a few minutes ago. You must get a neighbor to call in to Animal Control. You call in, too. Animal Control has to take this situation seriously, once two neighbors are calling it in.

You should never have to put up with a howling dog. I am sorry you waited and suffered so long. Call it in.

The dog is lonely. The owners need to take measures to ensure his well-being. Poor dogs, left alone for hours and hours. They are pack animals. Do it for the dog and for yourself. Call it in.


 COMMENT 372898 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 01:49 PM

Don't expect a city bureaucrat to get off his/her butt to help you, unless there is a fine they can collect to add to city coffers. The idea of relocating the feces to the violators doorstep is the best and most effective solution. Lighting it on fire would be arson, so don't do that. Just make sure it sits in the sunlight for a while. Also, try to locate it where the offender won't see it, but will certainly step on it. It would be a bonus if they stepped on it before they got into their high-end SUV or their Prius.


 COMMENT 372918 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 02:40 PM

898, i love how you have decided the person has a high end car. Assumptive much?


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 03:40 PM

Why the clever gun control rant on this post?


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 04:36 PM

LOL 2788. Wonder how many people take that seriously.


 COMMENT 372967P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 05:38 PM

@875 -- You can read MY post.. #869 - it was tongue n cheek - the trade that is. There is no problem with talking with the bad neighbor first.

But, I will offer again:::: Hey OP - howz about we trade and I will chat with your doggie-poopers and you can chat with the howling-neighbor-doggie.... !

Just watch a little Dog Whisperer to get your out-of-control kids obedient and respectful.


 COMMENT 373032P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 12:32 AM

The poster(s) wrote that they already tried talking with the neighbors and leaving doggie poop bags for them.

Time to call Animal Control and get some action. Squeaky wheel and all of that good stuff.


 FIRST DISTRICT agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 01:38 AM

A family member picks up every day. Neighbors let their dogs roam onto our property. In the County that is illegal and Animal Control picked up one dog and neighbors had to pay a citation due to leash laws. The problem continues daily. One unfriendly type told us he'd believe it if we got a picture of his dog in the act. We did and that makes no difference. The problem goes on and on and on.

It is outrageous that people have so little regard for others.


 COMMENT 373041P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 05:48 AM

How about approaching the problem this way: Inform the Health Department that your management company allows dog feces to be deposited and remain on common grounds. If the Health Department gets after the management company, then the latter would become proactive.

And if the cigarette butts enter the waterway (blown there by gardeners, for example), certainly other agencies would get involved.


 COMMENT 373209P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:43 AM

I tried reporting human poop in the City Park,to the Health Department, and they told me that they wouldn't get involved with that. The City Park people told me that they would give me little flags that I can put near the area every time, and they would clean it up!! HUH!! THEY need to patrol that area and clean it up. Why should I have to patrol the area????

So, I planted cactus & succulents in that area, and the City removed them!!! They don't even pull weeds or water, but they seem to have time to remove perfectly good plants that serve a purpose. Feel my frustration.


 COMMENT 373241 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 11:48 AM

Time to conduct a *cough* smear campaign.


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