Pick up after pets

Spring is in the air. This is, indeed, a fact. Soon the grass will need cutting, the hedges trimmed, tulips and daffodils will bloom and those of us who appreciate flowers will be busy planting. Folks will be walking, running and riding their bicycles. Parks will be filled with children laughing and playing, families picnicking, many people strolling and countless others walking their favorite pet dogs, cats and the like.

A gentle reminder – please pick up after your pet. Too often folks walk their dogs and refuse to pick up the stools. Do we ever consider the impact of this insensitive act of ignoring social responsibility? Animals sniff droppings. Sickness can follow. The spread of parasitic infection can threaten. Children playing in backyards and along thoroughfares might drag the smell and mess into homes and stores, causing inconvenience to everyone who is down wind, while walking on rugs and bare floors. Some innocent children might even decide to play in the pet “dirt.”

Let’s be frank. Not picking up after one of our favorite canine family members is laziness. It’s considerate to one’s neighbor and the community at large, wen we take on the “I don’t care” attitude, and approach this simple concern with a lack of sensitivity. When we refuse to pick up after our cherished pet, we fail to set a good example through our disregard to take better care of nature and the environment. My hope is we see this as an unacceptable posture.

Remember, the next shoe which lodges a mess, just might be yours. The next dog who becomes ill could be yours. The next innocent child who suffers from adult ridicule and reprimand while tracking a mess into the home, could be one whom you know quite well. Refusing to “pick up” after our pet is against the law. Why not do the “right” thing before the law tells us we have done “wrong?”

Lastly, to the overwhelming majority of folks who do the “right ” thing, a thousand thanks for caring and supporting one another. Your pet thanks you, too.

Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Shellhamer