Dog poop complaints decline in ST: study

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A new study from apartment listing company RentHop has found that Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents have seemingly become much more diligent in their pooper scooper duties in the last five years. The company examined the number of 311 complaints submitted about dog waste on the sidewalk and found that the neighborhood had seven complaints in 2010 alone but only one in every year since then except 2015, in which there were zero. RentHop data scientist Shane Leese said that the numbers for the neighborhood are lower than most of the other areas around it.

Although Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the surrounding neighborhoods saw big decreases in the number of complaints, other Manhattan neighborhoods saw increases, as high as 180 percent on the Upper West Side.

Leese said that both Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the Flatiron neighborhood have had decreases in the number of complaints this year, with the decrease in Flatiron being the most significant: last year there were 10 complaints and this year there have been two, for an decrease of 80 percent. The Gramercy neighborhood is doing less well with five complaints so far this year, a 400 percent increase from last year when there was only one complaint in the same period.

The decrease in STPCV seems less significant because it’s only a difference of one complaint, but the starting point was not high to begin with: last year up to this point, there was one complaint, and this year there have been zero. Based on the number of complaints filed with 311, the doggy landmines seem to spike near the end of the winter, which Leese said may have more to do with snow melting to reveal long-lost poop rather than an increase in the carelessness of dog owners.

Leese said that the company didn’t compare income or the cost of rent in the neighborhoods with the number of 311 complaints but there did seem to be a correlation between the percentage of registered dogs and the number of complaints.

“People who don’t register dogs might be kind of people who don’t bother to pick up,” Leese theorized. “And it seemed like that might be the case.”
Manhattan has the highest percentage of registered dogs, with 35 percent of the dogs in the borough being registered, but it had the second lowest amount of complaints at 11.61 percent.

Leese did note that the number of complaints might not correlate exactly with how much dog poop is actually left out on the sidewalks.

“It’s almost more indicative of how many people have stepped in it,” he said. “You have to care enough about it to actually file the complaint.”

12 thoughts on “Dog poop complaints decline in ST: study

  1. This study is “crap”. Most residents in PCVST don’t use 311, they complain directly to PS and Management re QOL issues that include dog poop, noise, heating issues, etc. Any “study” relying on 311 data in PCVST when we have our own security force and a direct management maintenance call center is bogus from the get go. There is also a major issue that still has to be resolved on whether the city can enforce the “curb your dog” law in PCVST’s private sidewalks anyway. The dog poop increasesevery year as the dog population increases here every year. Many dogs here are not registered by tenants and the stream of non-residents here walking their dogs (illegal) has never been effectively addressed by Management since the PS staff is under staffed and is thrown under the bus by Management (historically that’s what happened under TS and CWC, for Blackstone, we will see but I am not hopeful) when they try to enforce dog regulations here. The worst offenders are the “poop and scoot” non-residents.


    • Frances – I don’t think that this is an article meant to question our stupidity, nor do I think they are misrepresenting 311 data. I think it is exactly what Edmund said – these calls are made to management and security instead of 311. I think management would have the accurate complaint numbers for something like this.

      • Calling 311 is a pain in the ass because they put you on hold, transfer you to this one and that one and then do absolutely nothing about whatever it is you are calling about.

  3. I don’t think it is correct that most residents call Public Safety rather than 311.

    “311” is a far easier number to remember. All of my neighbors call 311 and we report dog feces to the City. The operator then says that he or she will make the report to the proper agency.

    I personally do not know the number to public safety. I think most residents do not know the number.

    So I believe the argument made above by the commenter/writer is completely without merit.

    • I definitely agree with you in terms of 311 being easier, but I really do wonder how many people actually call 311 for dog poop. If you are in your apartment dealing with a noise violation, of course you call 311. If you are out strolling the property and come across poop, is your immediate thought to call 311?

      I am actually worried that people aren’t calling 311 OR security.

    • I think most residents DO know the number for PS! If you don’t know their direct line, you call the main number and select the option for PS. Maybe the transients don’t know the number, but they don’t know a lot of things that most permanent and long time residents know. Unfortunately.

      • I try and relate by thinking back to my college age days. Honestly, I think dog poop would have been one of the last things on my mind, but I lived on an actual campus, and dogs weren’t allowed.

        I do have a dog, and quite honestly I am probably an enabler. If I do see poop, I don’t call 311 or security, I usually just take a bag and pick up what I see.

        • That’s very thoughtful of you, but it probably does skew the reality a bit! If people are too lazy to pick up after their dogs, then they probably shouldn’t have such a pet because dogs are high maintenance pets. If you side step your responsibility in one area, you will probably do it in others that include the welfare and wellbeing of the animal. Someone too lazy to pick up their crap is probably too lazy to take them to the vet or to the groomer when necessary. And they are probably the very people who would go ballistic and abuse the animal if it relieved itself in the house.

    • “I don’t think it is correct that most residents call Public Safety rather than 311.”

      Not what I said. You missed 50%. As I noted, PCVST has a dedicated call center for calling in such as issues as dog poop. As I also noted, since PCVST is private property, there is an issue whether NYC has any authority here to even deal with such an issue as dog poop.

      “I personally do not know the number to public safety. I think most residents do not know the number. So I believe the argument made above by the commenter/writer is completely without merit.”

      BTW, how many times have you called 311 or accessed their on line webpage for anything here? We are talking about the data here for a specific survey. For other neighborhoods such as the EV, Gramercy, etc., which have public sidewalks and have individual buildings without access to a private management call center that we have, using 311 data is probably relevant for such a survey. As a resident here, you do not know the number for PS? And you claim that most people don’t know it? Wow, just wow. I guess you are not aware of this device called a cellphone where numbers can be stored. The PS number is voice response option # 2 at the Management number 212-420-5000 which is the main number portal to Maintenance& Repairs, Accounts Receivable. etc. So I guess nobody here calls or knows that number as well. That number is given at almost every email blast that Management sends. It’s at almost every one at their hard copy handouts. PS can be contacted directly via the lobby intercoms. There also emergency blue towers with direct intercom access to PS located throughout the property. And it is on their webpage. You are using your ignorance and your claim of other’s people’s ignorance as your talking point to advance your argument to say that my argument is without merit? Nice.I think we are done here.

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