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Lots of dog poop litters Bend trails


Central Oregon is home to lots of trails — and lots of dogs. So what happens when dog owners don’t clean up after their dogs on those trails? Someone else does.

For the past eight years, Tom Cappy has been getting people together a couple of times a year to clean the trails in Bend.

Recently, he posted on Facebook that his group picked up 26 bags of dog waste at First Street Rapids Park and Shevlin Park.

“And then we report back, not to say, ‘Look what I did,’ but basically point a finger at the dog owners that shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing,” Cappy said Friday.

Signs are posted at Bend Park and Recreation trailheads that say pet waste removal is required.

But those rules aren’t always followed.

“An amount of people will just think, ‘Well, somebody else will pick it up,'” Cappy said. “And then there’s the other people who have good intentions, and they’ll put the bag down and they could forget about it, they could, or it just became inconvenient to go back and get it, so they go home.”

Trail walker Betsy Robb told NewsChannel 21 she doesn’t think dog owners are leaving the bags behind on purpose

“I think when that happens, as a dog walker myself, I think people pick up the dog poop and just don’t want to carry it with them, so they put it in a place, and then they come back– and in the meantime, somebody comes by and sees it,” Robb said. “So I think that’s what the problem is. I don’t think they leave it there permanently — at least, I hope not.”

But no matter how it’s left behind, accidentally or intentionally, experts say it’s not good.

Jamie Dawson, the Ochoco Mountains coordinator for Oregon Wild, said leaving dog waste on the trail violates the “Leave No Trace” policy.

“Dog waste, whether it’s in a bag or not, is not only unfortunate to see, it’s just environmentally not the best thing to leave out, especially in huge quantities,” Dawson said. “So as we see more people, we’re seeing more dog waste — and that’s not good for the visitor experience or for the environment.”

Most trails, especially those maintained by Bend Parks and Rec, will have a plastic doggie bag dispenser, as well as a number of trash cans along the trail, so you never have to abandon your puppy’s poop.

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