Ask Alice: Advice for Life at Home

Alice, How Do I Ask My Neighbors to Pick Up Their Dog’s Poo?

updated May 4, 2019
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Hi Alice,

How do I ask a neighbor to pick up the dog poo from their yard more often because it is smelling up my yard (front and back) real bad? Do I go straight to 311 or do it face-to-face or is there a better suggestion? I’d like to cause the least amount of embarrassment/awkwardness/ill-will while still getting the shit taken care of. Flies, man, already and super-humid Baltimore summer coming …


Pooped out

Dear Pooped,

Public service announcement, Baltimore: pick up your poop!

Well, this is toughie because, if you can smell their yard, they are no doubt already very aware of them problem yet haven’t taken care of it. However, if you report them straight away without giving them the chance to remedy the smell, you could very well cause some neighborly awkwardness (I’m guessing they only have two direct neighbors so there won’t be much anonymity).

I’d suggest a casual face-to-face. Don’t stage an ambush and march over and right their doorbell. Instead, try to catch them sometime while you’re both outside and act like it just came up naturally (rather than like you’ve been secretly seething about it for weeks). Adopt a light tone and ask them — as a favor to you — to be a little more diligent about cleaning up their dog’s mess since summer is coming and you’re planning to “spend a lot more time outside this year!”

See where that gets you first. They may just need a little push to do something they know they need to do but have been putting off. If they respond negatively or fail to comply, then yes, call in the big government guns.

Good luck and enjoy that yard!



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