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Dogs Ordered not to Poop at Hap Magee Dogpark

Original post made by Lassie N. Fido, Danville, on Nov 16, 2009

...okay, well it's either that, or they'll henceforth(?) be required to bring in their own disposal bags and clean up after themselves. Web Link

Backstory: a stark, unattributed (but nicely-laminated) sign appeared recently at the entrance to the park, succinctly announcing that no further bags would be supplied by the Town. The sign did helpfully describe what kinds of volunteer bags might qualify for this important doody.

No word on when, or if, the Town will suspend waste removal, but Don Bothermie, Parks and Rec spokesperson, suggested to this reporter that his Department is considering a Carry-in/Carry-out plan, modeled on the National Parks wilderness permit program. He continued: "We've long had a BYOB policy here at Hap Magee, that has been very successful for the many stressed-out humans who use the park on weekend evenings. We're just extending its benefit to the canines, and to Bags."

The timing of the announcement is curious, as the Dogpark closes for the Season in early December. It is also not known whether users of the Town's other outdoor athletic facilities will now be required to bring their own lime for the sidelines, basketball nets and pitcher's mounds. It IS known that the local yokel who built and installed two sturdy holders for volunteer bags now regrets his decision -- he also routinely picks up "orphan" piles, which are now certain to proliferate.

Anyone with further information on this subject is encouraged to post it in the Comments section. BTW, San Ramon's several dog parks will continue to supply bags to (all) their users.

Comments (24)

Posted by L Y Bryan
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:18 am

Please be sure to bring your own soap, towels and TP when you visit the Danville library -- we don't want to start losing volumes from our collection!

Posted by Ralph
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Really, are plastic bags so hard to come by that the town must supply them? You know, even when bags are available, you'd be amazed at how many folks let their animals turn our public parks into open-air latrines.

I regularly take my dog to the park to walk and play, and I have no problem bringing along my own plastic bags so that I may pick up after him. It would be great if everyone did the same.

Posted by Harvey
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hey Ralph, good for you, but aren't you being just a little holier-than-thou and a bit self-righteous? Great, so you pick up after your dog with your own bags. There are other people with different needs, Ralph, so please stop thinking about yourself.

I, for one, appreciate the plastic bags that are supplied by our fair city, although I never use them. My dog, Schitzo, is what may be considered larger than average, part St. Bernard, part Newfoundland, part Great Dane, and if it weren't for the scientific fact that different species cannot procreate, I'd swear that he's also part African elephant. If you have read this far, I think you know where I'm going with this. That gargantuan mongrel poops prodigeously. I often wish that there was a market for Schitzo's most important talent and product, because then I'd put Bill Gates to shame. But, I digress...

Ralph, I also pick up after my dog, and the reason I don't use the bags supplied by the city is that they simply do not hold enough. I bring along a roll of large heavy duty bags and a wheelbarrow, and every 200 yards or so, I stop to collect my dear Schitzo's latest accomplishment. Instead of the city discontinuing the practice of supplying us dog owners with plastic bags, I think it would be great if the city could place rolls of 36 gallon Hefty Bags at 200 yard intervals. Also, if there are any under utilized public employees available (any ideas?), perhaps they could help with the larger piles and take turns with the wheelbarrow. But then, I'm describing a perfect world, and I fear that we won't find such perfection here.

Another idea...perhaps the city could also make available power backhoes or other earth moving equipment to assist in the pick up of canine waste. Yes, that would be a perfect world, indeed.

Posted by Alton Canard
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Shall it be said, all neighbors?

"I named my horse DUCK because it is only a rumor that I have a horse" and such manure is just a passing fancy, bagged or unbagged?

Carry on, please,

Alton, Canardinaire

Posted by Harvey
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Fido, I'm just trying to offer a solution to a real world problem. And, much of the time I clean up after myself.

Posted by Fido
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

You expect us to trust an invisible rabbit with real world solutions?

Posted by Harvey
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

OK Fido, I've wrestled with reality for many years, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it. In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Posted by Donna
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Harvey, maybe the under utilized public employees you mentioned could be from the Danville Police Department.

Posted by Terry
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

What about the road apples on the Iron Horse Trail? Maybe equestrians should be provided with bags, too.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm

It has seemed to me that the Danville bags have more "features" than necessary -- bright colors, and some were nicely 'fragrenced;' others had handy extensions that allowed them to be sealed-up neatly. None of those features is necessary.

The San Ramon bags, for example, are basic brown and tear-off, one from the next, on a very long roll. That seems like a better idea, both in terms of likely unit expense and change-out maintenance. I'm guessing there may be 3x as many brown bags on a roll, vs. the packets of nicer bags. Capacity of the bags is similar (sorry, Harvey).

I know more about poop bags than I ever intended -- and now, so do you. It does seem to me that the consumables are best supplied by the facility. By analogy to public restrooms -- LYB has got that one right.

I also think there's a lot more human community that could accompany that park -- including a park fund-raiser 'prom' to open and/or close the season. It could be a lot of fun, and would likely require a dog lover on some Town committee or other. No, I'm not volunteering, but such people exist -- I'd be happy to help find 'em.

Posted by Harvey
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm

You are wise beyond words. My friend Elwood suggests that perhaps we should meet for a cocktail.

Posted by Adam
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2009 at 7:23 am

Boo hoo...another reason for Danville residents to wine and complain. Really is it that big of a deal? No, its not. It would be a bigger deal if this artical came out and nobody complained. But this is Danville, a place where adults find resaons to wine and complain, wonder why the kids around here blame everyone else for there mistakes..Get over it.Bring your own bagto clean up afetr your own dog or just dont come!

Posted by cardfark
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

Uh, Adam?

Wining [sic] about whiners takes whining to! You should move here -- you'll fit right in, especially since something that is not "that big of a deal" has inspired such passion in your prose.

At the dog park, you'll find a few black plastic bag holders. Put the bags in the top -- take them out of the bottom. Thanks in advance for contributing your bags to the mix.

Posted by Poochie
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:05 am

No need to complain. Just think that by eliminating the "Poop" bags Town of Danville will now be able to balance the budget...

Posted by Ron White
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

I'm gonna try telling you this story. This happened on Tuesday. I was riding in a car with two dogs and a wife, and the wife said, "I need to stop at the bank," and I said, "F*** it," or whatever the hell I said, because I don't like going to the bank, everybody knows that, I stay in the car with the dogs. My wife said, "I'll be back in 5 minutes," but there is no such thing as 5 minutes with this woman. And my dogs need to pee, and at our bank there is one piece of manicured lawn on the property with two signs that both say No Dogs On The Grass... so I take my dogs over there. A guy comes out with a big scowl on his face and he says, "Sir, the sign says No Dogs On The Grass!" I'm like, "Well... the sign's wrong....

...It should say Two Dogs On The Grass."

Posted by For benefit of All
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:33 am

For all concerned:

First, everyone should realize that this Park - all of it - is jointly owned and operated by Danville AND ALAMO (the Town oversees operations but Alamo pays half for everything through its Parks and Recreation, R-7A funds). It is a 50-50 endeavor.

Secondly - the next Joint Meeting will be held in the Cottage at Hap Magee Ranch Park on Thursday, Dec. 17, 5:pm.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend to make comments. Each is allowed to speak for three minutes on anything not appearing on the agenda.

If you cannot attend the meeting, forwarding an email to the Supervisor's office or the Town on your behalf is also welcomed.

Posted by Treebeard
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

The Town of Danville Website says that the next meeting is on December 3, 2009.

Web Link

Posted by Rosie mangin
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:17 am

Like Harvey, I also have a very large dog of the African Elephant size and also would love to find a way to profit off his enormous S---ts - might I add, Harvey, what an appropriate name for your dog! I bet you didn't realize how clever of a name that would be when he was a pup, right? Anyway, Ruff's "shidoobees" definitely require the glad bags which means I am guilty of using two bags instead of one bag at the dog park. I also forget everything, and can't even remember to bring bags for groceries to feed my family, much less bags for Ruff's nasty shidoobees at the dog park. So, maybe we can all be thoughtful and bring extras when we remember. Kind of like the take a penny, leave a penny concept. I am going to put a bunch of bags in the car when I get home. And please bring a few large ones for me and Harvey! Ruff and Shitzo's buddies will certainly appreciate it.

Posted by adam
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

thx for your 2 cents cardfark....

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Here goes, with my shiny new registration. I have no idea why an earlier response to Harvey was deleted -- nothing offensive in it that I recall, although it did contain a groaner of a pun. I will try to control those urges below.

Did a little lunch-hour internet poking, and came up with the following, regarding poop bag costs.


275 days of use/year
100 “users”/day (likely) or 200 users/day (heavy use)

Therefore, 27,500 bags/year or 55,000 bags/year

Capital cost: four metal dispensers (three in large park, one in small) @ $99/each, plus shipping and tax, plus installation time (?) – installed cost = $150/each, or $600

Links: Web Link

Web Link

Biodegradable(!) Consumables cost:

Case of 6000 bags: $184, plus shipping and tax: $220+/-

Link: Web Link

So, we'd need fewer than five or ten cases/year, depending on usage assumption: $1100, or $2200/yr.

That’s about $3/calendar day, or $4/day of operation in the "likely" case.

That doesn't seem like much, but does anybun..., err anybody know what is the annual Hap Magee Park operating budget? Per day?

Posted by cindy
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm

cindy is a registered user.

We are talking about a park for dogs? Dogs do shit. Can't plan it, and most certainly can't control it. Every dog owner knows to pick up after their pooch.

Good business idea: set up my 10 year daughter to sell doggie bags. Small, medium or large? Do you need 1, 5, 10 or 25 today?

God I love America!

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

cindy writes: "We are talking about a park for dogs?"

Common misconception about the park -- it is for people, with dogs. Because it exists, I know a bunch a great folks I'd likely never have met otherwise. And I've seen people there without dogs -- they just like to hang out and play with other peoples' mutts -- but I've never seen a dog there without its people.

Posted by Anon Mouse
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

Anon Mouse is a registered user.

I think I'll just keep a stash of grocery bags in my car. They multiply faster than animals! If anyone is in need, I can just offer one up. Not sure if they hold super-pooper sizes though...

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

The Bags Are Back in Town. Web Link

(the Bags are Back...the Bags are Back)

...and if the dogs wanna pooop, you'd better let 'em.


No explanation given, but thanks are in order to ... somebody. Plans to airlift more bags in from the Alamo Safeway have been temporarily suspended.

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