Sylva isn’t the first place to wrestle with the not-so-pleasant by-product of dogs in public areas.
The wildly popular two-mile walking trail around Lake Junaluska in Haywood County confronted the same issue several years ago.
When word got out that the lake was contemplating a ban on dogs, the requisite public outcry ensued. While Lake Junaluska’s grounds are contained within a private conference center and residential community, the larger public had grown so accustomed to the recreational amenities at the lake it bordered on a sense of entitlement.
Volunteers responded by installing six pooper-scooper stations around the walking path.
“The problem is not as bad now as it was before, I think by and large because the boxes are out there,” said Gene McAbee, the security officer at Lake Junaluska.
The lake orders the baggies by the case — 4,800 baggies for about $200. Each dispenser holds 400 bags. Some have to be restocked every month, especially in the summer.
McAbee said there likely isn’t a cure-all, however.
“Just like people who throw litter out of the window of their cars, they just aren’t going to clean up after themselves,” McAbee said. “Thankfully, the majority who walk their dogs at Lake Junaluska have some sense of responsibility to keep it clean.”