Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Scoop the Poop-HOA



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

1. The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. Many Home Owner Associations can be fined if dog waste goes uncollected.

2. Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment. If fined by the EPA, an association can face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all members—not just dog owners.

3. The appearance and quality of the common areas are known to affect home sales—not just whether and for how much they sell, but how quickly.

4. The more residents complain about dog waste, the more time the manager must spend on enforcement rather than serving the association.

5. Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste.

*The HOA where I live deals with this problem daily and although many people on our board want to confront this issue, it still does not get the attention it deserves and often is not dealt with. Each Association experiences these issues, but until there is a clear mandate or set of standards and regulations, many are on their own in enforcing statutes and rules.

* Lastly, in the City of Cotati where I live, police do not enforce city statutes on the books which allow for fines for those who do not keep dogs on leashes or pick up after their dogs. Until our own police cannot provide the manpower needed to enforce our laws, then people will continue to let their dog's go to the bathroom and not pick up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rohnert Park Dismisses Leash Law

It was a beautiful day today as I took my beagle for a walk at the office park down the street from Sonoma State University and Starbucks. We were enjoying the sun and quiet time shared when I saw twp women with three dogs, one large black dog and two smaller brown dogs off leash. This was the second time I saw these dogs unleashed. Not only is there a leash law in Rohnert Park, but my dog is seventeen years old, deaf, losing his eyesight and much slower. Therefore, my beagle is at a disadvantage and I was clearly upset that this happened again. The first time it happened, I left the park. I told the woman that there was a leash law in Rohnert Park and that the dogs should be placed on a leash. She was defiant and told me to call the police thinking I would not do so.

Why is it that this woman was arguing with me when she knew that she was in the wrong? There were no apologies and although she held a leash, she never put her dogs on it. Perhaps she thought I was joking when I told her I had the police departments number of my cell phone. She and her friend continued on their merry way. I called the Cotati Police Department who transferred me to the Rohnert Park police. I made a report and was told that they would be arriving soon. Ten minutes later I received another phone call from the Rohnert Park police telling me that they were backlogged and didn't have enough people on duty to come out. Would I like to wait? I told them what she already told me which was that by the time someone came, they would be gone, therefore it was worthless for anyone to come out.

I was very irritated and am still annoyed. I don't know if I believe their reasoning that they were very busy. It was in the middle of the day. I wonder if I was attacked or my dog if it would have been different or if they still would not have the time to show up. I live in Cotati but I am pretty sure there is a leash law in Rohnert Park. What was the real reason they did not enforce the code? Should other people be concerned? If the Rohnert Park police will not enforce the codes in their own city, why do we have dog leash signs? Should we have them removed? Many people are not cleaning up after their pet but the other offense is that they are not even keeping their dog(s) on a leash. What good is a code if the police will not enforce it?

Have their been others in a similar situation and what was the result? Both Cotati and Rohnert Park are in dire need of money and I believe one of the ways to receive more would be to enforce the codes and charge for any violations. I believe the violation in Cotati is over $250. I would like to know why the cities do not enforce these codes. Again, if it is too time consuming, then the signs should be removed. It is obvious that both Cotati and Rohnert Park police departments are in bad shape. I was told there is only one officer on duty per hour. When my car was vandalized I did everything I could to get a drive by in my condo, but it never came although I was told by both a lieutenant and a regular police officer that they would stop by.

I have discussed this issue with my friends and they have experienced similar situations. Many of them including myself feel that even if we say anything, the behavior continues to go on because their is no enforcement. It is also quite disturbing to see the combative behavior they display when they know they are going against codes in their city. What do the people do when there is no one to help? We are literally on our own and many of us are beyond upset.

My personal opinion on this matter is that each city should have a police department that employs enough people to keep their citizens safe. We need more than one person at the police station. Any programs or things that we do not need should be cut back or removed. Get our budgets in order. Without the police, their is chaos and citizens are being let down. All of us should demand better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ways to Resolve Pet Conflicts

Have you ever received a call or letter in the mailbox about your barking dog? It can be very distressing to receive such news from your neighbor and there may be a sense of helplessness and anger. However, it is best to handle the situation so that the relationship does not deteriorate.

The first thing to do is to identify your situation. Can it be managed? When I moved 12 years ago to Cotati, it took a while for my dog to get used to the new environment. I went through too much flashing, which was ripped off every two days. I was working full time. When I received a note from my neighbors about him barking, yes, I was very mad, but I forced me to take action and hire a dog walker. His behavior was much better from then on. In fact, I like to think he was a model dog. Although expensive, it gave me piece of mind, knowing my dog would be safe and have the exercise needed when I was gone, as well as giving my neighbors some peace.

During my beagle's earlier years, he was very mischevious. Back to the flashing. So, after picking up my dog from the pound one day, as he ate the flashing once again and got out my fenced gate, I decided to hire my contractor and put a iron gate on my own gate. It has worked magically for years and he has never escaped since. Having a dog is like having a child. There is much trial and error, but you will eventually find out what works for you and your dog.

If your neighbor(s) notice you are taking steps to try to curb your dog's barking or other problem which they may be having, it will go a long way. I pass this on using my own experience. If you are retired or live at home and your dog is annoying  neighbors, it simply comes down to whether your neighbors are right about your dog. Perhaps your dog was adopted and has anxiety or abuse problems. If that is the case, it is wise to call your nearest animal shelter and they will give you advice for free. It is also worthwhile to speak to your veterinarian. They are a valuable service.

Indoor cats provide no problems to your neighbor. In fact, I would say that even outdoor cats most likely do not provide problems. Dogs are social animals and if the owner is working, it is natural to have a dog bark. Dogs know when someone is at a gate, your home and are protective. You may have a neighbor which is just being a pain. I am sure there are those out there who do not have enough time on their hands and therefore feel the need to complain to be relevant. That may sound harsh, but I have come across people over the years who exhibit these characteristics. In the end, if you are doing everything you can for your dog or cat, it will most likely work out. Any disturbances you have with your neighbor can be worked out by simply discussing with them what you are doing to rectify the situation. Be polite, but firm. I am sure in the end it will work out for everyone.

Pet Custody in Divorce-American Law

A Guardian's Perspective on Pet Custody

Pet Custody Battles Over Your Companion Animal

When separation or divorce occurs, it can be very difficult as to deciding over who gets their beloved animal. Animals are considered part of our family, but did you know that in the eyes of the law, animals are seen as property. Splitting up in a relationship is hard, and the emotional pain one must deal with in regards who gets the dog, cat or other animal can cause anger and resentment. If you find yourself in this position, here are some suggestions on how to handle a stressful situation.

  1. Consult with an attorney 
  2. Offer proof that you adopted the animal. If you did not do so, were you the primary caregiver?
  3. Find receipts from your veterinarian as this shows proof that you were responsible. Did you take your animal to get groomed, buy the food or can you show proof that you took your dog to have training classes? As you can see, any receipts showing the above will help you.
  4. Speak with your neighbors or anyone who can be a witness to you taking your dogs on walks, etc. Please visit which is an article titled "Lawyers Must Plan for More Pet Custody Cases" for more information.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homework Help Cotati Tutor

Specialties in the following areas:

  • Reading and Phonics
  • Spelling and Study Skills 

Visit my homepage for further information at: .

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Phone: 707 971-9503 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Pet Safety Pack-Free

Receive your FREE pet safety pack from ASPCA. Are you prepared in case an emergency, not only for yourself but your loved dogs and cats? Enter your name and address at the link below and you will receive a window decal, animal poison control magnet and free 800 numbers to guide you in case of an unexpected emergency. Go to

Here are a few quick tips of what you will need to do to prepare in case such an emergency happens:

  1. Put a window decal on your window(s)
  2. Plan in advance and choose a location where your pet(s) will be safe. Contact your local animal shelters, veterinarian and kennels.Speak with family to see if they could offer a temporary safe place as well.
  3. Buy a pet first aid kit
  4. Purchase a first aid kit for humans
  5. Keep animal supplies such as dog leashes, blankets, food, litter and toys near you boxed up in a safe place in case of emergency
  6. Always keep water available for use

Visit the ASPCA website for a more complete list of items to keep on hand at: . Your animals will thank you for your preparedness.

Gifts for Dogs and Cats

The ASPCA is a great organization promoting adoption for dogs and cats. They also encourage people to fight animal cruelty. Year round they provide gifts for animals and humans alike. Treat yourself to a dog or cat mug, bear or jewelry for Valentine's Day. Let your spouse or family member know you care about them. The ASPCA also donates proceeds to causes that are needed such as animal cruelty. Know that your money not only helps other animals, but puts a smile on those you love.

Interested? Check out their website at :

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pet Waste At Dog Parks Can Make Your Pet Sick

Visiting a dog park or other community area is a great way to give your pet the exercise and socialization she needs to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately these places can become contaminated with deadly microorganisms found in dog waste and other bodily fluids. These are the facts about 4 common diseases spread in contaminated pet feces. Parvovirus Background: Parvovirus appeared in the 1970s. Since then it has spread around the globe and is considered ubiquitous (potentially everywhere) in the environment. This virus’s rapid proliferation was due in part to its hardy nature. Parvo is often fatal so any dog that has symptoms that suggest infection should receive immediate medical care. Symptoms: Rapid dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, high or low temperature, lethargy and/or muscle weakness, loss of appetite, pale mucous membranes in mouth. Infected animals become sick 3 to 7 days after exposure.

How It Spreads: Parvovirus is primarily spread through infected dog feces so be careful to avoid it. However other bodily fluids including urine, saliva and vomit can also spread Parvovirus. Once this pathogen gets into soil it can remain active for months and freezing temperatures don’t kill it. Parvovirus survives best in shady, cool, moist areas so the dirt near things like trees, bushes or playground equipment are favored spots for this virus.

Prevention And Treatment: Puppies receive their initial vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age followed by a booster shot a few weeks later. Adult dogs receive a yearly booster shot. Parvovirus can be killed with bleach on nonporous surfaces like plastic, metal or cement however it is not possible to completely disinfect porous surfaces like soil. If infection occurs veterinarians can offer supportive care until the body is strong enough to mount a successful response to clear the virus.

Roundworms Background: Roundworms are the most common worm parasite that infects dogs. Adult Roundworms live in the stomach and intestines of a host and shed their eggs into the environment through the host’s feces. These parasites are several inches long and look like thin, white or light brown worms in feces. Nearly all dogs will become infected with Roundworms during the course of their lives. Infestation in puppies can lead to serious illness or even death. Dogs older than 6 months develop a natural resistance to this parasite and usually don’t suffer from severe infestations or show symptoms of infection. Roundworms can infect humans and cause serious illness in children. Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, stunted growth, dull coat and hair loss. How It Spreads: Roundworm eggs are shed into the environment through the host’s feces and become infectious approximately 3 to 4 weeks later. These eggs have a tough outer shell and can remain active in dirt or sand for years. If your dog or child ingests contaminated soil or sand infection can occur. In addition if your dog eats a dead animal that is infected with Roundworms it can become infected. These parasites can also be spread to puppies before they are born or through their mother’s milk during nursing.

Prevention And Treatment: There is no known way to prevent Roundworm infection. Veterinarians can prescribe worming medicine that treats Roundworm in puppies and adult dogs. Whipworms Background: Whipworm is a common species of parasitic worm that infects dogs. They are extremely small and difficult to detect in the feces of infected dogs. Whipworms burrow into the walls of the large intestine and appendix, suck blood and lay eggs that are shed in the dog’s feces. Symptoms: Mild infection may not produce symptoms but severe infection can cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea and in rare cases death. Symptoms may not begin for a month or more after exposure. How It Spreads: The only way to become infected with whipworms is to ingest a Whipworm egg. Unfortunately this is very easy for your pet to do. A dog can become infected if it eats contaminated feces, soil or grass. In addition if a dog rolls in contaminated soil it can become infected when it cleans it’s fur and ingests the eggs. Whipworm eggs have a thick outer shell that protects the core and allows them to survive for years in the environment. These eggs are best adapted to cool, moist, well shaded soil and they can survive freezing temperatures. Sun and heat can destroy Whipworm eggs by drying them out. Prevention And Treatment: Like Roundworm there is no known way to prevent infection with Whipworms. Veterinarians can prescribe worming medicine for puppies and adult dogs. Campylobacteriosis Background: Campylobacteriosis is a common gastrointestinal disease caused by bacterial infection. Up to half of all dogs carry the bacterium that causes Campylobacteriosis but few show any symptoms. This disease is most dangerous in puppies younger than 6 months of age and adult dogs with compromised immune systems. Occasionally this disease is mistaken for Parvo because the symptoms can be similar. However unlike Parvo most cases of Campylobacteriosis run their course in 1 to 3 weeks and this disease is rarely fatal if prompt medical care is administered. Humans are susceptible to this infection so care must be taken around dog waste. Symptoms: Mild to severe diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite. Symptoms start within 48 hours of exposure.

How It Spreads: Campylobacter is not a hardy germ. It can only survive for a few days at room temperature and can’t efficiently reproduce unless it’s inside a digestive tract. Unfortunately exposure to less than a thousand Campylobacter can trigger illness. At a park the major mode of transmission for this bacterium is fresh dog waste. Campylobacter can also spread through infected food or water. Prevention And Treatment: Antibiotics can treat this disease. A veterinarian may provide other supportive care as needed. When you visit a dog park or other community area the number one way to protect your pet is to keep her away from strange dog feces. If your community doesn’t clean up dog waste consider having a pet waste removal company do the work. Most cities have companies that offer this service. If you suspect that your pet has become sick with any of these diseases take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Clean or dispose of any old toys, bones and bedding to reduce the chance of reinfection and to protect other healthy pets. Exercise and socialization are important for your pet’s health and well being. So watch out for landmines and keep your trips safe and fun! Pet Article courtesy of