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The Psychology Of Making People Pick-Up After Their Dogs
“Dad, the ball just went into the dog doody again!” Isn’t this ridiculous? Ridiculous that we have to worry about a domesticated animal that is owned by a human-being crapping on our property and not having it picked up! We all know about “pooper scooper” laws- and how the majority of dog owners abide by them. However, we also know that the fines are small, and how the law is often inadequately enforced. For instance, in New York City in 2004 there were only 471 ticketed dog-waste violations! (Source: The N. Times- 10/2/05) When dog waste remains on our streets or sidewalks, rain water picks up harmful pathogens from the waste and delivers them into our waterways. This water pollution leads to risk of infection and viruses, unsafe drinking water, beach closings and unhealthy boating and fishing.
(Source: Hemp- stead Harbor Protection Committee). DNA sampling of all licensed dogs has been proposed in Austria (Source: MSNBC.com- 5/23/05). But we all know that this problem will likely continue to persist worldwide. The answer for people who have had enough? The only reasonable solution is the posting of a lawn sign that will deter dog walkers from letting their pooches defecate on your property, or at a minimum, at least guilt them into picking up after their dog.
The key however is what kind of lawn sign. What will the sign say, and how psychologically these words will make the dog walker who may be dog-duty delinquent feel? How they feel, will no doubt impact upon their actions or lack thereof. The lawn sign must not be insulting or disparaging, or it quite possibly can have opposite of the intended effect. A sign that may strike a chord psychologically with the dog walker is what will be most effective. For example; • What if the signs’ text was tied to children- and the innocence of youth? Most dog walkers either have, or have had kids, so certainly this may resonate well with them. Thus the sign may read “Kids @ Play, Please Keep Poop Away”. • Or how about a sign containing a subtle dig, conveying that your lawn is important to you?- One that gently let’s the potential culprit know that you take care of your lawn and that you care about your property, such as “Thanks, But We’ve Already Fertilized”. • Who doesn’t remember the slogan “Keep America Beautiful”? In these patriotic times, a sign that reads “Keep America Beautiful, Please Curb Your Dog!” is certainly sure to make most offenders think twice before committing an irresponsible and inconsiderate act. • For those that the only deterrent may be the fear of getting caught in the act, the sign “Area Patrolled By CrapCam” plants a seed of doubt that maybe someone is watching them.
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