March 7, 2020 – West Bend, WI – There has been a growing number of complaints in West Bend regarding the amount of dog waste on the Eisenbahn State Trail and the downtown Riverwalk.
Warm, sunny weather brought a lot of people out to the trail on Saturday including bikers, runners and neighbors walking their dogs.
Bill Casey has lived in the Barton area since 1961. “I’ve got Douggie and Nellie with me,” he said about the dogs on the leash.
“Most people probably pick it up …. but there are those few,” he said.
Casey has his plastic bags for dog waste stored with the dog leashes so he remembers to take them every time he goes out. “If they had more garbage cans it would be nice, but there is a receptacle by the Train Depot; it’s not difficult to carry and then throw it in the garbage,” he said.
Between Highway 33 and Barton on Saturday there was a purple plastic bag of dog waste sitting on a bench. Several other blue plastic bags of waste had been tossed into trees and brush on either side of the Eisenbahn Trail.
Kathy Cira of West Bend was walking Riley around noon on Saturday. “We are on this trail all the time,” she said. “We live right off of Creek Road and we walk through here.”
“I really don’t appreciate seeing the waste left behind. Most of the dog owners I know do pick up,” Cira said.
Without any prompting Cira reached inside her jacked pocket and pulled out a number of blue, plastic bags. “These are really accessible to buy and I use the garbage facilities by Cast Iron,” she said.
‘Questioned how some of the bags of excrement end up in the trees or bushes or just left along the trail, Cira had one word. “Lazy,” she said. “People don’t care. I’ve lived here 15 years and this is annoying to see. I always pick up after my dog.”
Cira indicated West Bend was “a dog orientated community.”
“I really think the few are ruining it for the many,” she said.
There was some suggestions on how to reduce the instances of people leaving dog waste on the trail, both relied on more police presence.
“I guess the police have to be out here more and if they see them fine them,” said Cira. “Make sure consequences are enforced.”
Casey echoed that thought.
“They should have a guy on a bike riding patrol and giving out $250 tickets,” he said.
It was April 15, 2019 when the West Bend Common Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on the Riverwalk.
Upon passage the council was clear this would be a one-year trial.
A review of the ordinance is anticipated in April 2020.