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>Q: As a meter reader for the power company, I can tell you that people don't pick up their dog poop in summer, either. (You've written about people not picking up in the winter.) The stuff is just more visible this time of year. I bought a new car but kept my old one (with 283,000 miles) just so I wouldn't get dog poop in the new car. Happiness to a meter reader is frozen poop! Please ask readers to pick up after their dogs year-round for the sake of those of us who work outdoors.

-- A.K., Circle Pines, Minn.

>Q: New York may not be the cleanest city on the planet. (As a postal carrier for 26 years, you name it, I've stepped in it.) But I'm especially sick and tired of stepping in dog poop. I love dogs but not the people who don't pick up after them.

-- C.J., Bronx

A: I'm impressed -- a car with over 280,000 miles still going strong and a postal carrier on the job in the Bronx for 26 years. And I agree with you that owners who don't pick up after their dogs are irresponsible.

What's more, dog poop can present potential health concerns to people and other pets, according to veterinary parisitologist Dr. Dwight Bowman, of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and president of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (www.petsandparasites.org). Concerns include roundworm, whipworm, Giardia, salmonella and camplobacteriosis.

My shoes have suffered similarly to yours, and probably that's the case for most people in urban areas. Aside from posting signs reminding dog owners of local ordinances to pick up, I find the best enforcement comes from conscientious dog owners offering a spare plastic bag to those in need -- shaming people into picking up after their pets.

By the way, I like the idea of using pooper-scoopers or recyclable bags (www.poopbags.com) instead of filling up landfills with conventional plastic bags.

email: petworld(at)steve dale.tv.

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