by Sam Mazzotta
Dear Paw’s Corner: My next-door nei- ghbor shares a driveway with me. We get along fine, organizing our cars so no one is blocked in. However, every morning she walks her dog up the side of the driveway and doesn’t pick up after it. I’ve asked her to do so, but she said that since it’s her side of the driveway she has the right to let him poop there. What can I do to solve this?
in Bradenton, Florida
Dear Stunk: Neighbor disputes over dog droppings are always a bit nerve-wracking, especially when the offending neighbor asserts their right to leave a mess.
Check your neighborhood homeowners association rules to see if this issue is addressed. If you don’t live in an area with an HOA, check out your city or county’s website to find out if there are any restrictions for this sort of behavior, and if it’s possible to file a complaint.
Even though your neighbor is keeping the dog on her side of the driveway, it’s shared property. Further, dog poop left lying around, even on the edge of the driveway, is a health hazard. Not to mention how ick it is for anyone who parks on that side and accidentally steps out onto one of those gifts.
No matter what, don’t lose your cool. Stay civil toward your neighbor. Keep asking her to pick up after the dog, and note down the date and time of each interaction and each time poop is left behind. Take pictures with your phone as well. If the issue can’t be resolved by politely asking, you’ll need to file a complaint with the HOA or your municipality, and may have to provide evidence (notes and pictures, not the actual poo) to back up your complaint.
Readers, have you dealt with this problem? Tell about it at firstname.lastname@example.org