People need to pick up after dogs

Ron Slechta
Posted 8/17/23

Last Wednesday as I was walking to the post office, I accidentally stepped in feces that someone’s dog left on a downtown Kalona sidewalk. I didn’t really notice it until I got inside the …

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People need to pick up after dogs


Last Wednesday as I was walking to the post office, I accidentally stepped in feces that someone’s dog left on a downtown Kalona sidewalk. I didn’t really notice it until I got inside the post office and could smell it. 

On the way back to the News office, as I walked by the Eye Associates office, Steve Yotty of Yotty’s Ace Hardware cautioned me not to step on the dog deposit right in front of the eye doctor’s front door. He was upset because, as the building owner, he had to clean up the mess. He related that was not the first time that someone’s dog left dog poop on his sidewalk. And someone’s dog regularly leaves feces in the alley between Eye Associates and Financial Concepts. 

Most people who walk their dogs on downtown streets and throughout the city are responsible by carrying “doggie” bags to clean up the animal’s mess. But there always seem to be a few dog owners who are irresponsible by not using doggie bags to pick up after their animals. 

To allow a dog to make a mess in front of a business front door is definitely not acceptable. 

It is bad enough that there is a chance that some of us with low vision might step on the mess. There are people in this town who are completely blind who have no idea there is a mess on the sidewalks.

Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that he is proposing to put a notice on an upcoming water bill as well to give a friendly reminder to pet owners.  He stated that most pet owners are great about picking up after their animals, but as with anything, there are those that cause an issue by not following social obligations.

“In this case, we are glad to get involved when we know of the situation, animal and/or owner,” he said.  If anyone sees someone’s dog making a mess anywhere in the city, especially downtown sidewalks, they should let the city know. 

The city does have two “animal stations” at the City Park where the public can get free bags to pick up after their animals and a disposal site there if needed. 

The city’s Ordinance 55.18 Animal Littering says it is unlawful for the owner or responsible party to allow an animal to deposit feces on public or private property without the consent of the property owner. Animal feces deposited on public or private property shall be immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner. This section does not apply to the owner of a service dog when the owner is deemed to be legally blind or to have other medically and physically limiting disabilities.

Schlabaugh did not suggest a specific penalty cost as that is determined by the courts. 


Golf carts in the city

To clarify last week’s column about safety of children riding in golf carts: I have no problem with people using golf carts on city streets. If my limited eyesight didn’t keep me from obtaining a driver’s license, Helen and I would consider buying one for me to get back and forth to work. You are required to have a driver’s license on city streets, according to Washington Country Sheriff Jared Schneider.  Having a driver’s license for e-bikes may also be required in the future. 

Instead, I must continue to walk to work which doctors tell me is a great way to get exercise and to help with my aches and pains of old age (at least they consider me old). 

My only concern is about the safety of young children riding on the carts.  We will have to trust that parents will take proper precautions as I am sure they too are concerned about the safety of their young children.