During these times where more of us are spending time at home and using local outdoor public facilities, we want to remind all dog owners of the expectations in public spaces. Please remember to: 1) pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of it in the trash (dog poop is more harmful than you may think!); and, 2) keep your dog leashed while in public spaces. Please ‘read on’ for further information and resources.
What’s the issue with dog waste, don’t all animals poop outside anyway?
Of course, ‘doing the business’ is natural for all animals, but all poop is not created equal. One gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal bacteria- nearly twice as much as a human! This bacteria can spread giardia, salmonella, and parasites to other pets and people. Each dog produces about 3/4 pounds of waste per day. It doesn’t act as fertilizer, and those so-called biodegradable pet waste bags stick around for years. Not only is it smelly and gross to see or step in, dog poop also causes very real public and environmental health risks. As the feces break down with rain and snow melt, poop particles flow untreated into storm drains and streams, ending up in our ponds and streams.
Leaving bagged dog poop behind on the trail or sidewalk, stuffing it in a storm drain, or throwing it in the nearby woods or wetland is not only irresponsible and rude but prohibited in South Hadley and punishable by fines up to $300. To show your commitment to keeping our community free of dog waste, you can take the ‘Pet Waste Pledge’ here: (https://www.southhadley.org/1040/Take-the-Pet-Waste-Pledge)
Please pick up after your dog, bring the waste home, and dispose in a trash receptacle!!
Why does my dog need to be leashed? Fido is a good boy and great with people!
Keeping your dog leashed maintains equity for all users of public spaces. Town trails and public spaces are for the enjoyment of everyone, not just pet owners and their furry friends - not everyone wants to meet a dog while on a trail. Leashing dogs also keeps your pup safe. You don’t want your pet, who is often a bonafide member of the family, to get hit by a car, run away, or encounter an unfriendly animal. Please be courteous to the comfort of others when using public spaces.
When using South Hadley Conservation Areas, please keep your dog leashed. You can read all our regulations for use of our Conservation Areas here: (https://www.southhadley.org/604/Conservation-Land-Regulations)
As a reminder, dogs are NOT allowed at town parks (Buttery Brook, Beachgrounds, school facilities, etc.). But don’t fret - the Friends of South Hadley Dog Park just opened a park designated for dogs. The South Hadley Dog Park, located at Ledges Golf Club, is a fun place to play where your dog can meet other dogs and you can meet other dog lovers. The park has designated play areas for small dogs and large dogs. You can visit the South Hadley Dog Park website here: (https://southhadleydogpark.org/). Before you enjoy the dog park, please read their rules for use here: (https://southhadleydogpark.org/about-us/dog-park-rules/).