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Why Scoop the Poop?

Besides being a nuisance, uncollected dog waste is a serious problem for your homeowners association. Next time you’re tempted to leave your dog’s droppings on the lawn, please remember these facts:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. The HOA can be fined if dog waste goes uncollected.
  • Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment. If fined by the EPA, the HOA can face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all members—not just dog owners.
  • The appearance and quality of the common areas are known to affect home sales—not just if and at what price they sell, but how quickly.
  • The more residents complain about dog waste, the more time the community association manager must spend on enforcement rather than serving the HOA itself.
  • Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste.

Please do your part and collect your pets’ waste to keep your community in top condition.

Stop That Barking!

Dogs left alone all day get bored, restless and many find relief in barking. Some respond noisily to any and all activity. But, few things are as annoying as incessant barking—even for dog lovers. If your dog is a yapper or a yowler, please consider some of these bark-abatement ideas to keep the noise down in your area. Your neighbors and the Homeowners Association will thank you!

  • Training: Always the first recommendation for any behavioral problem! Help is as close as the Yellow Pages. Training not only helps your dog, you’ll be surprised how much it helps you, too. You may get some insight into why your dog barks so much, or what it is trying to communicate.
  • Citronella collars: A humane alternative to the electric-shock, this anti-barking collar costs about the same. Available on the web and in pet stores.
  • Confinement: Sometimes simply bringing an outspoken dog indoors or crate training it can cut down on the disturbance to neighbors.
  • Reduce stimuli: Close drapes to help muffle street noise, or leave a radio on to mask it. Disconnect telephones and doorbells before leaving your home if these disturbances tend to upset your dog or make it bark.
  • Companionship: Dogs are pack animals, meaning they need companionship—a cat, bird or another dog. Consider a mid-day visit from a pet-sitting service, or drop your pooch off at a friend’s place or a day-care facility once or twice a week.

Pet Rules for HOA Harmony

The homeowners association is proud to be pet-friendly and is happy your four-legged family members are part of the community. Of course, like any good neighbor, it’s important that these pets don’t create an unpleasant environment for everyone else. To avoid unnecessary disputes and potential HOA rule violations, here are some guidelines owners should follow to ensure their furry friends continue to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  • Read the Rules: While pets are welcome, there are a few rules and requirements. Please check the HOA community website or the HOA’s governing documents for more information.

Service animals are exempt from the HOA’s pet requirements. However, please contact the board or community association manager to ask for an accommodation to keep a service animal. Proof of the service animal’s training or a doctor’s certification may be required.

  • Keep it Clean: No one wants to see, smell or accidentally step in the “gift” your dog left on the grassy common area. So when your dog needs to go, be sure to properly dispose of it, preferably in a pet waste disposal can. Not only will this keep the community looking better, but it will help keep ground water clean and help prevent the spread of fecal-borne diseases.
  • Quiet Down: Pets will be noisy from time to time. However, when loud barking or meowing becomes annoying to neighbors, it’s time to help your pet become less talkative. First, try to find out what causes your pets to get vocal: Do they get noisy when they’ve been alone, bored all day and need some playtime? Have they gone through a stressful change in environment recently? Are they suffering from health issues? Do they simply like saying “hello” to every squirrel, person or car that passes by? When you’ve identified the cause, take remedial actions such as confining them to an area where they feel calm while you’re away, removing or blocking as many stimuli as possible, exercising and spending more time with them. You can also take them to a professional or search online for tips on how to better train your pets.
  • No Wandering: For the safety of your pets as well as all residents, please do not allow your pets to roam outside unattended. Along with helping protect your pets, leashing your dog is the law.

Protect Pets and Common Areas from Parasites

Dogs and cats can be great companions, but they also can carry fleas, ticks and parasites into your home and our community. Infestations can spread quickly through a community when flea-infested carpeting or pet bedding is disposed of improperly, when a flea-infested pet plays with your pet and when pet waste is left uncollected on common areas.

Help avoid harmful pests in your home and prevent them from spreading around our community association with the following tips. Also, be sure to follow up with your veterinarian to learn more about other ways to prevent and treat outbreaks.

  • Apply a topical flea and tick pesticide. Fleas lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. Unless a pesticide kills 95 percent of the fleas, you won’t eliminate the problem. To do this, you need to use the products sold by your veterinarian. Over-the-counter products just aren’t strong or effective enough. Monthly applications will help keep pets healthy even when they’re exposed to parasites—including mosquitos and mites.
  • Always leash your pet. Although you may trust your pets to obey commands, keeping them leashed lessens the likelihood they’ll be infected by other pets and wildlife.
  • Keep your pet clean. Even indoor pets should be inspected for ticks and flea “dirt,” which looks like pepper at the base of the coat on the skin. An occasional bath with flea shampoo is a good idea as well. Visit your local pet store or grooming facility or check online for information on bathing routines and options that are best for your pet.
  • Monitor your pet’s behavior. Scratching is your first indication that fleas have discovered your dog or cat. Apply a topical pesticide immediately. Fleas, ticks and mosquitos carry potentially life threatening pathogens, so pets can experience a wide range of symptoms if infected; be suspicious of changes in behavior and discuss them promptly with your veterinarian.
  • Keep the situation contained. Once you’ve treated your pet and your home (and possibly your yard or outdoor surroundings depending on how severe the infestation), keep the pet close to home until the problem is resolved. Wash bedding and toys that may harbor eggs or larvae in hot water. Infested bedding or carpeting should be tightly sealed in plastic bags before disposing to reduce risk of spreading to others.