Walking the dog is a great way to get exercise (for your both), stretch your legs, and take a break from the world. But doesn’t it always get ruined when your beloved pup relieves themselves just a few minutes in, and you’re stuck carrying a stinky doggie bag for most of your neighborhood stroll?
You have a few options: you can let your dog poop in people’s yards without cleaning it up (evil!!) or you can suck it up and carry the bag until you get home. But there’s a third option, too. You can slip it into a neighbor’s garbage can. But is that ingenious and acceptable or incredibly rude and disgusting?
After getting yelled at by a neighbor for slipping some dog poop in her bin, a couple took to Reddit’s famed Am I The A—hole? forum to find out if it’s a faux paw (see what I did there?) to dump your dog’s bagged waste in someone else’s garbage can.
“I have a lovely 2yo Golden Retriever. She is full of energy, so she gets a lot of walks,” the post begins. “I try to be a responsible dog owner. I always pick up her poo, even if it is nowhere near other people’s homes. My wife and I brought the dog along to visit friends in an east coast Florida barrier island/beach community. Nice, quaint, nothing fancy.”
So far, so good. Sounds like a lovely family.
But then things get more complicated.
“We walked the dog, and naturally, the dog pooped. My wife had a bag, and picked up the poop. We walked on. About 4-5 houses down, there was a large, standard community issued, garbage can at the edge of the road. The lid was half up, as it was quite full and ready for pickup,” he continues. “My wife deposited the tied closed bag-O-poo into the can.”
“A man mowing his lawn at the house next door (it was not his trash can) went off. He ran over and yelled at my wife: ‘You’re disgusting. You can’t do that. Why would you put your dog’s waste (his term) in someone else’s can.’ She said: ‘it is a garbage can. People put nasty things in garbage cans. That’s what they’re for.’ He harassed her until she took it out.”
So, that’s the situation. Who’s right? The grumpy retiree or the dog parents? Or are there more shades of grey?
First off, there’s the camp that thinks this couple is definitely the a—hole.
“The big reason it gets to me is because it makes the cans we have in my city reek,” one person explained. “They’re thick plastic with heavy lids so they just cook in the sun, and that dog-poop/garbage combo becomes Satan’s potpourri very quick. Especially when you don’t have a dog it becomes very potent and makes me have to wash the cans out a lot more frequently.”
“You never put fecal matter in someone property without permission,” another said. “Never.”
“A big part of the issue is that these flimsy bags can easily break open and poop gets on the inside of an innocent person’s trash bin, one wrote. “Especially so if more trash is added after the poop.”
On the other side, there’s the group that thinks it’s totally fair game. And way better than leaving poop on the ground.
“I don’t really get this. I don’t really care if others use my bins, would rather they throw their garbage in a bin than on the street. I mean sure, if someone is doing a big household dump and filling my bin up that would obviously be an issue, but a cup or a dog bag here and there isn’t an issue. Garbage is garbage.”
“I live across from a mini market, and people will come out of the store and pass four bins (two at the door, two at gas pumps) and just drop their trash as they walk past my house,” another explained. “Comparatively, someone sticking a coffee cup or candy wrapper or poop bag in my garbage bag when it’s out on trash day would be awesome.”
Some people think that there are some instances when it’s okay and other instances where it’s not.
“If you’re walking by and the bin is at the end of the driveway or wherever it’s free game, if it’s up by the house and you have to walk up to the persons house or side of their house then YTA,” one person explained.
Another added that it matters when you throw the poop bag in.
“I feel if it’s at the curb and hasn’t been picked up yet it’s fair game,” they explained. “If you do this after it’s already picked up and is going to sit in someone’s bin for as long as possible and stink it up then it’s an AH move.”
One discerning reader really broke down when you can and when you can’t use the can:
“If the garbage can is:
- At the curb
- Has not been emptied
- Pick up is imminent
- And the poop is preferably double-bagged
It’s fine to use. If it’s not at the curb or has been emptied, it’s an asshole move to put dog poop in it.”
There you have it. Next time you think of disposing of some poop in a private garbage can, you have the knowledge to do what’s right — according to some people, at least.