Letter: South Portland leaves dog owners holding the bag

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The South Portland Dog Owners Group has been informed that, due to budget constraints, the city is likely to discontinue supplying dog waste bags at our parks and beaches in the next few weeks. Our group spoke out against this budget cut when it was first proposed last fall and we continue to oppose this decision. Providing dog waste bags is like providing garbage cans – it encourages people to do the right thing – and it works, as evidenced by any comparison between areas where bags are provided and where they are not.

SoPoDog hopes to work with the city to come up with a long-term solution to provide bags, preferably through some sort of “bring-one, take-one” bag recycling program. In the meantime, we ask all dog walkers to bring a bag for themselves and a couple of spares, as many beach and park users will be surprised to find that bags are no longer available. And spread the word to your dog-walking friends.

We have worked hard for the privilege of using the parks and beaches with our dogs, and whether bags are provided or not, we are responsible for picking up after our pets in all public areas. Please join us at the South Portland Land Trust’s annual Earth Day Clean-Up on Saturday, April 23, as we clean up Hinckley Park (9-11:30 a.m.) and Willard Beach (8-10 a.m.). We’ll have coffee and donuts, and will give away dog toys and T-shirts to the first people to arrive.

Crystal Goodrich, president
South Portland Dog Owners Group

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