Archive for the 'Chicago' Category


big nasty one on wabash

Things seemed pretty clean on the streets during our walk with the pups this evening.

Until we came face to face with this:

Well sited, my friend.  It’s huge, but seems well camouflaged in the cracks and staining of the sidewalk. Dark, almost invisible, isn’t it? Sneaks up on you.

Some party-goer alighting their car will be stepping in that poo tonight for sure.

I don’t normally step in poo… but when I do, I prefer to step in a big nasty poo.



Today’s Poo Fairy report

Today’s Poo Fairy report is for Cottontail Park, Chicago, IL




Orphan poos were picked up at and around Cottontail Park this morning.

Thank you, Poo Fairy!


Breaking news – CPD has freed Fluffy from her chain!

This just in:

The Chicago Park District has freed Fluffy from the 30# chain link, and they are trying to convey important information about picking up after your pooch, however they have now come up with puzzling new lingo…

What does it mean to LEASH-CURB your pet????

– Puzzled in the South Loop

These new signs have been showing up around area parks:


Curb your dog!! in Canaryville

A discussion popped up on EveryBlock Chicago about a month ago: ‘Curb your dog!!

Canaryville is a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago that “stretches from Fortieth to Forty-Seventh Street between Wentworth Avenue and Halsted”.

Aside from the usual – urban poop is a problem everywhere in the city – what’s interesting about the post was that several commenters brought up the problems with the term ‘Curb your Dog‘.

What on earth does “Curb Your Dog” mean anyway? Perhaps we, and the signs, need to say “Pick Up Your Dog’s Waste Or You Will Be Ticketed!” instead of using some arcane expression to pussyfoot around.

Right on, jim m.!

Whereas Jennifer says:

Curb your dog – you or your landlord owns the property in front of your house (your front yard or steps). the “curb” area is owned by the city. “Curbing” your dog means having them do their business on the “community” property – the area by the curb.

And Kitty chimes in again:

Okay well they are not using the curb they are literally leaving the poop on the side of my fence or in front of my home. I am really annoyed by this..

A lot of people in Canaryville are annoyed at having to clean up after other people’s dogs!

Just like in the South Loop!


The concept of poo radius

We’ve noticed that when we take our dogs out they always poo nearby our house.  We can estimate using Google maps that their poo radius is about 300 feet. Are other dogs the same?

We don’t know, yet. But the observation prompts an interesting idea…

Dog poos are not transported by the gods, nor dropped by the birds, nor, generally, left by trekkers traveling miles from home.

They are left behind by our neighbors. Can we be more precise than that?

Which neighbors?

It’s a pretty obvious idea when you think about it, and we all probably implicitly do come to the obvious conclusion: the neighbors nearby. But perhaps if we could come up with a quantitative spin on this we could make that intuition more concrete, and perhaps, more useful.

Consider the ‘probability of poo’ distribution function. The probability is low at distances close to zero (people generally won’t let their pups poo right at the foot of their steps, for example, but someone else’s steps, that’s another matter!) – and then the probability increases with distance, reaching a maximum at some point, and then decreasing as you get farther and farther from home.

There’s probably a right way to do this – collect data from a team of “dog-poo reporters” in order to establish the shape of the distribution function, P(p|d) (the probability of a poo (p) at a distance (d) from home). Then use that prior distribution and a little Bayesian statistics to ask: given the occurrence of an orphan poo at location y, what’s the probability that the poo-coward lives distance x away? 

(There must be additional variables, too – poo behavior near a single family home will be different from near a condo, behavior near a front door will be different from a back door, a poo-friendly surface will facilitate poo, winter walks will be shorter than summer walks, etc, etc.)

This might take a lot of work.

But let’s take the easy way out. Imagine that there’s a single poo radius for all dogs (something we admit we have not established) and that the radius is 300 feet (something that might also vary – perhaps FrouFrou goes right away, while hefty Gorgon needs to walk a while to stir things up).

If we can make that simplification, then we can come up with this:

An interesting visualization of something that’s not usually made explicit, isn’t it?

It suggests that we can identify the pool of candidate poo-cowards by simply mapping the position of the orphan-poo.  

The five locations identified in the map are recurring poo-hotspots at the southern end of the South Loop:

  1. Mary Jones Richardson Park
  2. The 1401 S. State Impact Zone
  3. Coliseum Park DPFA
  4. Poo Alley
  5. Wabash, South of 16th

Each of these sites, some of which are ongoing areas of poo crisis, others that ebb and flow, is created by someone, or several someones, who can be located within a specific geographic pool of residents of the South Loop.

Take MRJ Park, #1 – that site can be assigned to residents of the northern end of the Dearborn Park II development.

Site #2 – ha! 1401 S. State.

And Poo Alley, Site #4 – that one can be assigned to Dearborn Tower (1530 S. State), with residents of Burnham Station and Dearborn Mews perhaps also contributing.

This suggests that it could be possible to use a targeted strategy to address the (local) problem of orphan poo. Find a developing poo-crisis at some location?  Then identify the dog owners in the buildings that lie within the poo-radius. Distribute informational leaflets. Talk to them. Instead of writing angry letters about the ‘torrent of dog urine and feces turning [the] urban lawn into a fetid, stinking mire of matted, brown mush‘, a poo-advocate could simply notify the 25 (say) surrounding dog-households to put each on notice that one of them was creating a developing poo-crisis.

Prediction: problem solved.


More poop at MRJ park

Mary Richardson Jones Park, again.

Our correspondent writes:

I left one of my custom made flags with each of the orphan loads but this time I decided not to adopt them. Rather, I left them there for a pick up later. I think leaving the orphans there with the flag makes more of a statement than my previous adoption strategy. Hopefully the neighbors will become a little more aware. I’m also hoping to alert the person leaving the mess that someone is actively pursuing them.

This time, we got some great pictures!

Those are some awesome signs. “Decided not to adopt them“, indeed!

Looks like things are heating up at MJR park!


Direct action at Jones park

A friend of South Poop writes:

Since the snow has melted over the past couple of days an abundance of abandoned poop has been revealed at Mary Jones Richardson Park (Park 479).

I had an idea. I made some make shift flags out of skewers that say “Abandoned turd adopted by XXX” on one side. On the other side it says “Clean Your Poop!” “Identify and report those who do not!”

So I picked up the aforementioned turds at MJR Park and then replaced each with a flag.

I think it would be pretty cool if that went on around other parts of the neighborhood. It would alert neighbors that someone is abandoning turds. It would also let the perpetrator know they are being watched and likely to be very embarrassed when caught.

How about the South Poop promotional potential too?

Let it not be forgotten that the overwhelming majority of dog owners in the neighborhood are responsible. If they weren’t we would be up to our necks in shit.

First of all – thanks to our correspondent for the shout-out to South Poop!

Second – great idea! And one we’ve been considering for a while.

We’re going to move forward on this – look for South Poop poo flags in your neighborhood soon!


A pretty little poo in a sea of Fall color

A pretty little poo in a sea of Fall color –

Nasty little poo

Your dog is an artiste!


to post, or not to post?

A friend sent us this discussion going on over at the West Loop’s Mary Bartelme Park PAC Facebook page – seems that someone ‘took a picture of the droppings‘ and caught a poo coward in the act.

The question:  to post, or not to post?

The vote:

  • Post pics of dog poo.  7
  • Don’t post pics of dog poo.  1
  • Tut-tut-tut, dog poo!  2

We look forward to seeing the pics! Maybe they’ll show up here! 🙂


Hundreds and hundreds of complaints about poo

The City of Chicago provides a portal to a lot of different records of City activity, and in a follow up to our previous post (‘What’s really going on…‘), we’ve pulled the 311 Sanitation Code complaints for 2011.

The data is out there: “Dog feces in yard”.

These are the complaints for 2011 (1/1/11 – 8/22/11):

Date        Code Violation?	    Street Address
01/01/2011	Dog feces in yard	1411 W 114TH PL
01/02/2011	Dog feces in yard	3672 W GRAND AVE
01/03/2011	Dog feces in yard	5058 W CRYSTAL ST
01/04/2011	Dog feces in yard	9914 S CALHOUN AVE
01/04/2011	Dog feces in yard	6018 W ADDISON ST
01/04/2011	Dog feces in yard	6148 S RUTHERFORD AVE
01/05/2011	Dog feces in yard	816 N LEAVITT ST
01/05/2011	Dog feces in yard	9625 S HALSTED ST
01/05/2011	Dog feces in yard	3342 N OSAGE AVE
01/05/2011	Dog feces in yard	3344 N OSAGE AVE
01/05/2011	Dog feces in yard	2043 N KILDARE AVE
01/06/2011	Dog feces in yard	7340 S DAMEN AVE
01/06/2011	Dog feces in yard	1365 W CRYSTAL ST
01/07/2011	Dog feces in yard	10343 S VERNON AVE
01/07/2011	Dog feces in yard	6425 S FAIRFIELD AVE
01/08/2011	Dog feces in yard	1723 W 33RD PL
01/08/2011	Dog feces in yard	1716 N WINCHESTER AVE
01/10/2011	Dog feces in yard	7831 S RHODES AVE
01/11/2011	Dog feces in yard	1130 N MASON AVE
01/13/2011	Dog feces in yard	1111 N WELLS ST
01/14/2011	Dog feces in yard	8507 S THROOP ST

But wait… there’s more! (Scroll to the end for a map.)

Continue reading ‘Hundreds and hundreds of complaints about poo’


poo crisis? what poo crisis?

Recently we passed by Sky55, site of the infamous poo crisis of May 2011.

What poo crisis?

No, there was no poo everywhere. We didn’t have to scrape our shoes after walking by the entrance.  It didn’t smell bad.

But there are some large planters outside.  And it does seem that Frou-frou and her pals are being lifted up or leaping into them so that they can go poo.

But that’s all we could find.

Maybe direct action neighbor-to-neighbor has taken its course.  Good to see – and a reminder perhaps that it doesn’t take a lot to create a crisis, nor to alleviate one.

Is it premature to congratulate the residents of 1255 S. Michigan?


now, this is a dog toilet

Turns out there’s a nice dog toilet in our corner of the South Loop, located in the alley just behind 1720 S. Michigan.

Our guess? Fido and his pal walk out the back door of  the building into the alley every morning in order to leave a nice big poo. What’s interesting for us is that these look like they are all poos from the same dog.  This is not a community toilet. This is Fido’s private place. We’ve seen it before.

Here’s a week’s worth of poos in various states of decay (count ’em all):

Look out for Fido here:


Y’all should check out the very active Facebook page for Lots of posts extolling the stories, the virtues, and the triumphs of green poop bags!

Our mission is to provide a Green-N-Easy way to help save the Earth, one poop at a time!

They hold occasional contests, too! You can vote for the best funny ad for for one more day!

(We’ve highlighted their blog The Load Down before.

And According to Gus gives them a big thumbs up!)


Poo crisis!/MissYouPluto/status/73552616994521088


Your Dog

Photo 13

Thank you, Pastor Grandberry!


Poo droplets

A teacupper’s present for April, “poo droplets” in the lawn:



Curb your beast

As you know, the Chicago Park District recommends that you use a 50 pound link chain to control your dog as it enjoys sniffing at the flowers in the park:

Curb Your Dog Sign

The Chicago Park District also recommends a 50 pound link chain be used at the local off-leash dog park (or Dog ‘Friendly’ Area):

(We doubt that most experts agree with this last recommendation!)

We’ve been wondering where the bureaucrats at the CPD came up with this idea, but thanks to the Internets we think we’ve found it!

Continue reading ‘Curb your beast’


Chicago’s “excrement” ordinance – What’s really going on?

Courtesy of Dana Weems, a writer for, South Poop has received a copy of a City of Chicago FOIA request that lists the citations for the last three years under the City’s Removal of Excrement ordinance 7-12-420.

You recall the text of the ordinance:

“No person shall appear with a pet upon the public ways or within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for the removal of excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by such pet.”

It’s a lovely ordinance, really: Carry a bag and pick it up.

And for that you avoid the fine of “not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense”.

So, the question that Dana raised (one that we’ve also raised), is how much action does this ordinance get? How many poo cowards are being dragged down to Municipal Court by the scruff of their necks each year in order to pay their $50.00?

We were thrilled when we read in Dana’s article that there were a significant number of citations under the ordinance each year. If each year thirty or sixty people are being fined for walking away from a pile of poo, that’s probably thirty or sixty who are going to have to acquire a bit of poo backbone, even if it needed to be stiffened by the Man.

But who was being caught? And where?

With the data in hand, we can take a careful look –

Continue reading ‘Chicago’s “excrement” ordinance – What’s really going on?’


The Load Down

Chicago’s own has a blog, The Load Down.

Check it out!


Users of the 18th St. field don’t read South Poop!

A correspondent reported last Friday that she found 48 poos on the field north of 18th St. We’ve commented on the field before – it’s a wonderful resource for people with dogs in the area that’s going to disappear someday, perhaps sooner rather than later if the poo problem gets out of hand!

What can we do about it? We have a bunch of ideas:

a) Flag the poos. Why? Two reasons – 1st: to bring attention to the number of poos left behind – You can walk away, but there they are, all your poos! And 2nd: to alert other users of the field, soccer players, football throwers, frisbee tossers, and dog owners, that it’s a mess out there.

b) Wildcat a banner. Something like ‘Pick up your freaking poo! Sponsored by South Poop.‘. Why? 1st: To get it in their face. Your poo cowardice is an anonymous act, but people do notice what you’re doing. And 2nd: Perhaps we could raise awareness of  South Poop. Whether a banner would last (recall the ‘Poo Bandits’ sign at Polk St. last year) is another question, but we’re willing to give it a try.

c) Request additional trash bins. Why? So that there’s a convenient place to leave a bag. The 2-3 bins near the entrance are a long walk from where Fido goes poop. Let’s make it more convenient. To do this, we’ll need to contact the Alderman and/or the Chicago Park District. The park is in the 25th Ward, currently represented by Daniel Solis.

d) Request a poo bag dispenser. Perhaps the South Loop Dog PAC could coordinate this (as they did in the off-leash dog areas)? Why? 1st: To make it clear to dog owners that the community expects you to pick up after your pup. And 2nd: to make it easy for people to reach for a bag, without excuses. To do this, too, we’ll need to contact the Alderman and the CPD. And we’d have to come up with an arrangement to keep the bag dispenser filled.

e) Stake out the field. There’s ample parking north of the field – sit and watch!  Why? So that we can run yelling after poo cowards proffering them a fresh bag! But really, does anyone want to volunteer for that??

We haven’t implemented these ideas yet and some of them would cost money. Not a lot, but it would be interesting to see if there’s community support in the way of $$ contributions to make these things happen.

So, what to do?


“South Loop Residents Say Enough!” at

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a nice article at

South Loop Residents Say Enough With the Dog Poop | Chicagotalks.

There’s some useful perspective in the article, but what struck us as particularly interesting is that each of the people interviewed picks up other people’s dog poo!

John Simeone takes his Hound mixed, Maverick, to the unofficial dog park next to their apartment on State and Harrison streets every day. He picks up after other dogs, as well. He said as dog owners, people need to start taking responsibility.

“I’ve never actually seen anyone not pick it up, but I’ve actually picked up other people’s stuff because when I’m down getting [Bolu’s], I’m like, oh well,” said Jessica Hitch.

She said even though it keeps the peace, and it’s the right thing to do, she’s tired of picking up other dog’s messes. “I go to the extra mile, and I pick up what we call ‘orphan poos,’” said Focia.

These are the good guys! Thanks John, Jessica & Pamela!



Coliseum Park DPFA covered in poo and trash

Wow. Happy New Year to you too!

IMG_0801.jpg Continue reading ‘Coliseum Park DPFA covered in poo and trash’


How many poos per day?

Some recent information made available on the web prompts a question that we really need to get a handle on.

How many poos per day in the South Loop?

And where do those poos end up?

A recent article in the Chicago Journal provided an estimate of “around 2500 dog owners” in the South Loop. There was no explanation of how this number was arrived at, but let’s imagine that it’s in the ballpark.

How many dogs is that? Let’s suppose the average number of dogs/household is 1.5. So: 3750 dogs in the South Loop. It’s a guess, but let’s go with it.

3750 dogs are each going to poo once or twice a day. Let’s say the average is 1.5 poos/dog. So we arrive at our answer: 5625 dog poos/day in the South Loop. Again, it’s a guess, but let’s go with it.

That’s a lot of poos!

(The South Loop from Congress to 18th or so is only about 0.625 square miles, but most of that area is built up… we’ll address ‘poo density’ in a later post.)

Now, the South Loop Dog PAC reported on their blog recently that they provide about 22,000 dog waste bags each year at the South Loop dog parks.

As they calculate it, that’s “61 poos picked up for less than two dollars a day”.

Hmmm…. 61 ÷ 5625 is about 1% of the dog poo in the South Loop. Good on ya SLDogPAC, but there’s still the 99% to worry about!

By the way, if we take the SLDogPAC’s estimate of $0.032/bag, that means that if each dog-owning resident of the South Loop were given a bag to pick up their dog’s poo, it would cost $180/day.



“don’t be a poo bandit!”

A friend from the South Loop Dog PAC forwarded these pictures of signs that went up in the small green area near Polk & Dearborn last week.  (They are now gone).

I like ’em – nice approach by someone who’s willing to take some action.

This particular patch has been a focal point of ‘poo conflict‘ for a number of years – it seems to serve as the ‘green patch’ for dog owners in the Printer’s Row area who amble down Dearborn, leave their present, and stroll back home to their loft like nobody cares.

Maybe we could make smaller weatherproof versions of signs like this to post (perhaps a little more discretely) in the problem areas in the neighborhood?


more poo on State St.

ugh, more poo on State St.

nestled in the forest greens and dusty browns and urban bits & pieces

it does make a pretty picture…

but they shoulda used a poopsta!


Poop along 14th and Plymouth Court

Speak of the devil!

Just after posting about ‘Old Reliable’ today, a reader sent in a slew of pics taken during her walk around Dearborn Park II this morning.

OMFG! Are you kidding me? This is the same neighborhood.  Here’s the map:

(Yes, the photos were geo-tagged…)

That’s five (5) huge Poos in the Parkway!


Continue reading ‘Poop along 14th and Plymouth Court’


old reliable

1401 S. State is a pet friendly rental building that has something of a reputation as a nexus of poo.

There’s a tiny dog run near the L tracks,  and there are some nice gravel areas helpfully provided to leave behind your poo.  You can always count on finding some nice ones there.  Here are a few:

Or, residents can walk their dogs across State street and leave poos along the shady sidewalks of Dearborn Park II.  It’s a lovely place for that.


a teacupper’s present

a little present behind the bus stop.


A beautiful new field of grass

A beautiful new field of lush grass has just opened up north of Ping Tom Park!

… and some sad fellow has already started leaving poos for the rest of us to find!

Here you go (at the north edge of the grassy area):


Preparations for the Printers Row Lit Fest are underway!

Here’s a nice poo for you!

On Plymouth Ct, behind the porta-potties (oops, missed!), and only about 15 feet from the stage off-camera to the right.

This is truly a nice ‘work’!   Snap!

What’s up with these sidewalk poo-ers?  In populated Printer’s Row, of all places…


a nice poo in the setting sun

this one in pleasant repose along 16th st.

points for getting it close to the ‘curb’.

p.s. i’m debating whether to post the pics of poos covered in flies, what with summer coming along…

but, that would be in bad taste, don’t you think?


A sweet sixteen

Wow, and we thought Coliseum Park DPFA was bad!

That’s sixteen (16) poos in the gravel at Grant Bark Park on one morning.


They do assemble to make a nice ‘art shot’, don’t you think?


Composting poop nixed in Chicago

There’s a short article in the Chicagoland Tails magazine this month ‘Planet Poop: Composting your Pet’s Waste‘.  But more interesting is this comment:

I looked into composting dog feces both for my own pooch and for the dog daycare where I work recently. I was told, and confirmed with the city’s Department of Rodent Control, that composting dog feces within Chicago’s city limits is illegal, as it attracts rats.

I wonder if this might be an issue worth revisiting.


Light dappled poos

light dappled poos in the ‘parkway’ on Plymouth St –

you could be inspired by these, to write a little poem…


Lucky hides his poo…

Lucky hides his poo… Latet anguis in herba.


little dog, big dog – fresh ‘works’

Our ‘little dog’ friends have so carefully placed this fresh one amongst the stones!

Froufrou is a true artiste.

And, our ‘big dog’ friends have artfully placed this one so that it can ruin some kid’s day at the park!

Well done Champ, thanks for your massive contribution.  Looks like the poo flaggers got to it first.


Nicely ‘Curbed’ poos age gracefully along Wabash

Some nicely ‘Curbed’ poos are aging gracefully in the sun:

These look positively organic.


you never know where your orphan poo may end up

A friend of South Poop who’s in the condo management field forwarded this report of some pretty ugly ‘direct action’:

Subject: Dog Crap Contest
I have the winner. At xxxxx we have tenants using the gangway as the toilet for their dog. This has been going on for some time and we have levied several fines. However, two unit owners evidently recently decided to take matters into their own hands—literally. I just hung up with another unit owner and these unit owners took the aforementioned waste and smeared it on the door of the offending tenants and took some of it and put it in the tenants’ shoes that they left by the front door to their unit.



Coliseum Park DPFA never disappoints

dog poo friendly area, indeed!

a hearty welcome to your fellow dog owners…

many thanks to the ‘poo angels’ who try to keep this place clean.


‘Froufrou’ couldn’t make it to the ‘Curb’ on time!

Another sidewalk poo – at the corner of a building at Clark & 19th a few weeks ago.


What are we going to do about winter poo?

It seems that some in our community aren’t picking up after their dogs.

  • ‘it’s biodegradable’
  • ‘it’s really small’
  • ‘the rabbits and coyotes leave their poo, why can’t we?’
  • ‘ewww’
  • ‘nobody will notice’

… but that’s not going to cut it in an urban environment, and in the winter, particularly, ‘orphan dog poo’ becomes a real nuisance and a flash point for resistance to coexistence with dogs in the South Loop.

What are we going to do about it?

Contribute your ideas in Comments.


Cottontail Park Teacupper

A well-fed teacupper on the snow in Cottontail Park.


A quiet couple of days…

It’s been a quiet couple of days for dog poo in the neighborhood, at least around us. Good news, I suppose!


it was a bad day for city sidewalks

man, are these are some huge sidewalk poos!

the first is on Clark St just north of 15th:

the second in the middle of Dearborn park:

WTF?   these are by no means overlooked ‘orphan poos’.

aren’t these our neighbors taking a big ‘ol fart in the faces of the people around them?

or were they out-of-towners?

or alienated big-city youth?

or timid and shy ‘i can’t pick that up!’ poo cowards?

hmm… 🙂


Fresh poo at coliseum park DFA!

Some fresh poo at coliseum park DFA this evening! I wonder whose??


teacup poo

teacup poo at cottontail park.

thanks, ‘teacupper‘!


The one that started it all

In the courtyard area of the Burnham Station townhomes on 15th St.


This is not a site for anti-dog/owner rants. Comments are moderated, and will not appear right away. Constructive criticism, observations, and especially ideas are welcome. Want to contribute? Contact us!