Keep Downtown Dog Owners on a Tight Leash


I’ve spent a great deal of time in Downtown recently. One of the things I’ve been able to do is get a good look at the Church St. renovations. There are the ubiquitous antique-style street lamps, which seem to be springing up everywhere in Nashville. There are also a good number of benches, trees and well-kept flower beds bordered by short wrought iron railings.

But leave it to some Downtown dog-owners to ruin a really good thing. I noticed that strewn amongst the attractive pansies and small trees planted by Metro are significant amounts of dog droppings in the raised beds. It’s really bad in the planters around the Bennie Dillion Lofts. I doubt very seriously that these are caused by strays. In 15 years of working in and living near Downtown, I’ve never seen a stray dog there. My guess is that Downtown resident dog-owners are taking their own darlings down to the street-side planters to do their business but not picking up the mess. Either the owners are irresponsible and [a]pathetic or they want a free-ride clean-up from Metro, and if Metro is picking the doody up, it’s charged to our tab.

While a dog-owner, I am also a taxpayer, and I have to wonder whether allowing the dolts Downtown to own dogs is the most efficient use of our resources. It’s bad enough that green space is rare, but the obvious laziness of some Downtown dog owners is the real kicker for me. And the problem will only get worse the more Downtown goes residential. My selfish and hence unrealistic wish is that Metro would refuse to clean up dog doody from Church St. flower beds. Just let it stack up and let the residents there either finally get out and pick it up themselves or have to suffer seeing and smelling it. But waiting on the residents doesn’t help me as I sit on a Church St. restaurant patio in plain sight to the little packages. So, maybe a better solution is to remove dogs from the Downtown equation. That would be an efficient use of my tax dollars.

I can already hear the wailing of those in Downtown who may believe it their inalienable right to own as many hounds as they please, even to logic-defying proportions. While prohibiting canines in Downtown may not be realistic, those who wail should keep in mind that with rights go responsibilities, one of which is to clean up after your own dog rather than expecting someone else to bear it for you.

3 Comments so far

  1. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on March 10th, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

    I noticed this last time I was on foot downtown and wondered how the projected influx of new downtown residents is going to affect that.

    Perhaps it’s time we start charging for dog licenses to offset the clean up fee.

    $10/dog per yer is not unreasonable, I think.

  2. Craig (unregistered) on March 12th, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

    For these and other reasons, Tennessee/Davidson County need to do some combination of the following:

    1. Stiff, stiff tax on selling pets (but not on certified orgs adopting them, e.g., SPCA), along the lines of $100 per animal (to be combined with stiff criminal fines on those who are non-compliant, including the loons who sell dogs on the side of the highway).

    2. Ban chaining dogs up – what a ridiculous practice.

  3. Sarcasto (unregistered) on March 14th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    How do you know it is dog shit?

    That park is Bum Central Station. I see them defecating pretty much everywhere downtown. Last week one whipped it out on a bench at Third and Church and took a ten-minute, prostate-engorging piss, all the while gripping his brown paper clad beer like it was a bottle full of wishes.

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