Letter: Dog owners need to take care of their poo bags

Dianne M. Finch/Courtesy photoDog poo bags lie placed on a concrete barrier at Long Beach in Rockport on Friday. 

To the editor:

I am a Rockport resident, and have noticed an issue on Long Beach in Rockport, as well as Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester.

I run on both beaches, and every time I go, without fail, I find plastic bags filled with dog poo — sometimes floating in the ocean, and other times lying on dry sand or stacked in piles like cairns as though they will be picked up by a trash collector.

Friday, as the attached photo shows, dog owners left them on the cement barrier — or good people picked them up off of the beach and placed them there because they didn’t like the idea of taking someone else’s dog poo home with them.

I understand why people want to take their dogs to the beach, but when I see this on a regular basis, I feel that they don’t deserve the privilege. The dog owners I know carry their bags with them when they leave, but obviously not everyone does. The dogs enjoy the beach, and I like to watch them swim. But their owners are irresponsible.

We all know by now that plastic bags are dangerous for sea creatures and birds, and plastic breaks down to micro elements that we end up ingesting after eating fish. So how can anyone with a conscience leave such garbage on beaches? And in better weather, we want to swim in clean water — free of bacteria from dog excrement. Yes, I see the same bags in summer from owners who use the beach despite the summer ban.

Those of us who care about the environment and appreciate the beauty of this area should be appalled at these litterers.

I’d like to ask residents in Rockport and Gloucester to be vigilant and watch for litterers for the good of our communities. Ask them to take their garbage with them.

Friday I met a concerned resident on the beach who lives just up the street from Long Beach. He said he picks up the dog excrement every time he walks on the beach — not his responsibility, but he cares about the environment.

Let’s all watch for these litterbugs. If it doesn’t stop, then we may need to ban dogs from the beach. That would be a shame because the dogs are innocent; it is the humans that need to change behavior.

Dianne M. Finch


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