Saturday, March 22, 2014

Man presented big brown bag full of dog poo as evidence at municipal meeting

Ken Guldin has had more than his fill of dog faeces scattered on walkways in his neighbourhood in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Guldin, who has become something of a vigilante pooper scooper, has cleaned up after so many irresponsible dog owners that he has bags of the excrement to prove it. On Thursday night, he publicly unveiled one of those bags with an unusual delivery at a township commissioners' meeting, placing a brown paper grocery bag on the dais.

"Is that dog faeces?" board of commissioners President Ryan Conrad asked. Guldin, who attends township meetings on a regular basis, answered in the affirmative. A minute earlier, Guldin had stood to address the board during public comment. He stepped to the lectern carrying the bag and a commissioner joked that it looked like an oversize sack lunch. As he spoke about dog walkers' failure to pick up after their pets in his age-restricted community, Wild Cherry Knoll, signs emerged that the bag's contents had already been eaten and digested.

Still, commissioners were caught off guard when the 68-year-old walked past the lectern to the dais and placed the bag before them; their facial expressions indicated they now knew exactly what it contained. Guldin assured Conrad that the dog droppings were double-bagged - first with plastic and then with paper - but the commissioner insisted that he remove it from the dais. "I appreciate that you're willing to clean it up, but we don't need that..." he said. Guldin shrugged and went back to the lectern, taking the bag with him. From there, he sparred with Commissioner James Lancsek about the township ordinance that requires people to clean up after their animals and how it's enforced.

After speaking his piece, Guldin returned to his seat and put the bag at his feet. Conrad asked him to take the droppings outside "out of respect" for others present. Guldin acquiesced and left the room with the bag. When the meeting ended, Guldin said he moved in August to Wild Cherry Knoll, heard from neighbours that dog droppings are a problem along the trail and then saw it for himself. He brought the bag in to show commissioners just how big (and smelly) the problem's become. Asked to estimate how many pounds of poo were in the bag, Guldin replied, "I didn't weigh it this time." He cleaned up the droppings on two occasions last fall; his first effort resulted in 9.5 pounds of poo and the second brought in 5 pounds. Guldin guessed that the bag of poo he collected on Thursday morning for the commissioners' meeting weighed at least as much as the first haul.

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