According to the workers who tend our local parks, McKinney residents are currently in the doghouse.

Why? Because neighborhood dog owners are either allowing their animals to roam free or flouting the city’s “pooper-scooper” law, which requires them to clean up after their pets.

City gardener Michael Stone, who works at both McKinney Courts and Anna Park, called Community Police Officer Rhoda Ford in March, after being approached by residents who wanted to know who enforced the pooper-scooper law.

Even though there are signs advising humans that their four-legged friends are not allowed. Stone says, he was compelled to report to Ford that “dog feces in the parks are getting out of control. Parents can’t let their kids run around in McKinney Courts because of it. Kids are finding dog feces in the sandboxes.” he lamented.

Ford responded by increasing her patrols of both McKinney Courts, at 11th and Elm, and two-tiered Anna Park, west of Anna Street from 24th to 25th.

“I’m contacting as many dog owners as possible, asking them to network with other dog owners and to be responsible for their dogs. I’m also encouraging them to use the dog run area”, she said, referring to Anna Park’s official dog outlet, located on the cliffs above the ball field at 25th Street.

Ford notes that at Evergreen Park, near Main and Elm, there’s another legal dog run area, on the north side of the two-square-block park, where dogs can mingle sans leash.

But Alexandrina Newton, the Recreation and Park Department field supervisor, who manages all three parks, says she’s observed “plenty of dogs on the wrong side of the tracks” at Evergreen Park as well.

Says Newton, “The dogs are on what we like to think of as the quiet side of the park, where the children’s playground is and where people practice tai-chi”.