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What's All the Poop About in Avondale Estates?

There's more than the freshly laid granite and sod around Lake Avondale these days

There’s a doggie defecation problem in Avondale Estates and some residents, even dog owners, think it stinks.

While most dog owners clean up after their pooches, some residents have turned up their noses to the idea, leaving behind piles of poop on the new granite pathway and freshly laid sod around Lake Avondale. 

The issue was brought to light during this week’s work session as Mayor Ed Rieker and city commissioners opened up the floor to public comment. Moment's earlier, they were talking about the results of a dog park soil test and the possibility of a dog park.

“There's an average of five to seven dumps down there per day,” said Avondale Resident Tom Brooks, who said his 3-year-old granddaughter already got into it. “Not that it was on the green part or in the bushes, but right slap dab on the granite [path]. The only way I know that you can control that is for the dog owners themselves to control it. A fella got killed out in Gwinnett County arguing about the dogs in the dog park but I'm not going to argue with anybody.”

Avondale Estates’ bylaws require dogs to be on leashes and their owners to pick up after their pooches.

“Folks who are doing it have no idea what their responsibilities are,” said Brooks, who cited that another dog was off leash and jumped on him recently.

Another resident, who admitted she sneaks into dog parks in the City of Decatur, said most residents are responsible dog owners. But she called it an unhealthy and messy problem in Avondale.

“I don't like stepping in it," she said. "It disturbed me when I walked around the new granite pathway and saw dog poop all around on the freshly laid sod. I don’t want to live in a community where people don't clean up after their dogs and I'm a dog owner ... I don't want to see it."

City Manager Clai Brown said Avondale has just purchased three pet waste stations with trash cans and boxes that will hold small dog poop bags.

"We've noticed that also," Brown said. "It just blows me out of the water."

Commissioner Terry Giager recalled how one resident of Avondale used to put flags in piles of poop around the lake, which gave everyone a chuckle.

The scoop on the poop came as Avondale looks at the possibility of a dog park.

During the work session, Avondale Estates resident Martha McDermott was appointed chairperson of an ad hoc dog park committee to look at costs and locations, including the bird sanctuary site, among other things. 

A Power Point dog parks in neighboring communities and possible costs is located on the Avondale Estates website.

The study estimates that costs could be $30,000, though less if the city uses free dirt.

The dog park will be up for public discussion at a future meeting. Several commissioners asked that the project be on the fast track.

Diane Loupe March 19, 2011 at 02:10 PM
I applaud KBritt. I live in Decatur, but I will pick up trash when I see it. I don't pick up doggie poop, but I think this is the ideal solution--citizen enforcement. You pick up poop AND you find a way to talk to people who are not picking up after their pooping pooches. Embarassing people is the way to go, kbritt!!!!
Meg Clark March 19, 2011 at 03:04 PM
I have this same problem at FBC Decatur-- I run a child care facility there and we have to chase people and their dogs off property-- as if letting your un-leashed dog poop all over a playground is a courteous thing to do!! I've even had people mouth off to me and be rude to my staff. I love dogs and a lot of dog owners, but it's embarrassing when residents of your own city don't care to think about others. Good luck, Avondale!
Dan Magee March 19, 2011 at 05:02 PM
The cost of a dog park could be less depending on the location. Fencing is the main expense. A dog park should be at least two acres if at all possible. A good dog park also has quality signage, some shaded areas and benches, a people/doggie water fountain (very important), some play features (such as www.dog-on-it-parks.com/) and a few Dog-iPot waste stations. The trend now is to split a dog park into two, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs. It's not uncommon for a community to raise funds for a dog park for a city or county, with the city/county providing the site. But the location is key. There are tons of good websites but the best research is visiting as many dog parks as possible.
Melissa O'Shields March 19, 2011 at 08:14 PM
I am all for the dog park! I enjoy going to the one at Piedmont Park just to see the different breeds of dogs. I also enjoy sitting by Lake Avondale and watching the ducks in peace and quiet. A few days ago someone walked 2 barking dogs around the lake. They barked the entire radius and it was quite a noise nuisance. I have also witnessed people unleash their dogs to roam freely. Perhaps in addition to the dog waste stations some classes in dog walking etiquette 101 would benefit the community :)
Bill Kelly March 20, 2011 at 03:24 PM
All for the dog park! We need signs to remind people or how about a volunteer "poop police" the problem is not just in the park but all over the neighborhood

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