Cayenne pepper used to curb doggie business in Greenwood

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Buddha recovers from cayenne pepper.

By Kate Burgess

Q13 FOX News reporter

SEATTLE — A stinky situation is causing a lot of problems in one Seattle neighborhood. Some people in Greenwood say dog owners aren’t cleaning up after their animals.

So one woman tried to take care of the problem in her own way, but may have hurt a dog in the process.

Walking around her Greenwood neighborhood last week, a pit bull named Buddha unwittingly stepped in a patch of cayenne pepper.

Just a sprinkle of the stuff can be harmful to an animal, irritating their skin, causing diarrhea, even leading to ulcers.

Monica Gujral Wallace, Buddha’s owner, said the dog “was licking nonstop. It’s in her throat, in her esophagus, in her tummy.”

Wallace said piles of pepper were purposely dumped on the curb, enough to send Buddha to the vet.

Her veterinarian “said it could have burned her esophagus and her stomach. Her feet and her legs started getting red, red, red, and it looked like cuts,” Wallace said.

The Greenwood Court Manor property manager dumped jars of the spice because, she says, the grass is being used as a public toilet for people’s pets.

Justin Alley, who lives in the neighborhood, said cayenne pepper is “like anti-freeze out for raccoons; it’s a deliberate health hazard.”

The property manager didn’t want to comment on camera.

But even dog owners in the neighborhood agree that animal waste is a problem.

“People aren’t cleaning up after their dogs and that’s a hassle, but that’s no call to go making things poisonous,” Alley said.

Since last week, someone has picked up the pepper jars, and the rain has washed away some of the cayenne. But Wallace said it should never have come to this.

“Why do you feel the need to police the area, when you don’t own the land, the property, the complex, the sidewalk or the street?” Wallace asked.

Alley said, “She probably meant it just as a deterrent, but that’s a really dangerous deterrent, especially on a public street, without public knowledge.”

As for Buddha, she’s licking her wounds and recovering.  And the Wallaces are walking her on the other side of the street now and are on the lookout for pepper traps.

State Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Seattle, got wind of these pepper problems. She said she is planning on researching Seattle’s dog waste laws and working on what she’s calling “the Buddha Animal Safety Act” in the interim legislative session.

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  • guest

    a few dog owners are responsible pet owners but the majority won't pick up after their pets any more than smokers will stop throwing their butts on the ground!

  • abcd

    I always pick up after my dogs. I get so frustrated when other people don't do the same. Even so, that's pretty messed up of the property manager! Feel better, Buddha! <3

  • SeaMike01

    I wholeheartedly applaud the woman who sprinkled the cayenne pepper on the grass. We have a major dog overpopulation problem in this region, and the jerk owners are polluting our neighborhoods and bodies of water. Reporter Kate, this “pet” owner, and Cindy Ruiz can all “stuff it”.

    • R.W.

      Wow psychopath… sure your just the neighborhood favorite. So you are okay with hurting animals that's what your saying? Where do you live buddy? Let's have some……..together.

  • Guesttoo

    Even though the property manager may have been a little heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper, I didn't hear Buddha's owner say that she would be more diligent, or continue to be diligent to pick up after Buddha and encourage her pet-owning friends to do the same. People are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Grass and lawns in public areas are for everyone's use, not just for dogs and cats to use as restrooms. Children like to run and play in grassy areas. Those of us living in cities and other communities should care about all who share the community and the common areas in it.

  • Harriett Potter

    Animals or HUMANS!!! I know all too well about the problem with pet poo. A couple of years ago, my yard (high privacy fenced) was littered with cat poo. One cat even poo'ed on my back porch. I called animal control and they could not help me except to tell me to buy or rent traps and trap the animals and turn them over to animal control. Why should I have to spend my hard earned money to keep IRRESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS PETS off my property? Cats still run loose around my neighborhood doing whatever they want. I CAN NOT go outside and walk on my lawn because of an illness made 1000 time worse by pet poo. So in an essence, my life or quality of life is in danger due to pet poo. It seems to me that if a home owner or property owner pays the mortgage & taxes on their property, they should be able to protect that property from unwanted dangerous HUMAN and ANIMAL intruders. So thank you for the story about the Cayenne Pepper.

    • TripleA

      Go to PetSmart. Buy one of the products that acts as a cat deterrent. It'll be cheaper than trying to poison animals with Cayenne Pepper and less of a dick move.

      • Harriett Potter

        Dear TripleA – I'll say it AGAIN! I don't own a #$@# pet and I'm NOT going to go to PetSmart or any other store and spend money I don't have on or for your pet. If you have a #$@% pet, then it is your responsibility to take care of it. Be responsible or get rid of the pet, DICK!!! You seem not to be concerned about my illness which makes you a bigger dick. Ain't that something?

        • LostInNW

          So HARRIETT – incase you do not realize this – every species defecates. Birds, bees, earth worms, fish in the sea and even you Harriett. So unless you are living in an isolation booth quit the condemning. >>I CAN NOT go outside and walk on my lawn because of an illness made 1000 time worse by pet poo<< Really? Are you out rolling in it, eating, licking it? No illness, other than mental, precludes being able to "live" aka go outside because animals poop. The Seattle Zoo even sells it ~ perhaps someone should be so generous as to leave you a little Elephant Dung on your lawn. Then you can appreciate how small the other little creatures are.

  • Carrie

    Even when poo gets cleaned up there's always some stuck to the grass it's gross, if you don't have your own yard don't have a dog. BTW I have two dogs and two cats in my own yard!!! They don't run the neighborhood and do their business elsewhere either. I'm not a pet hater, I'm just against spreading the poo onto other people. Be kind to your neighbors don't piss them off with stupid shit!!

    • TripleA

      So you don't take your dogs for walks? And, if your cats can go into your yard you don't think they are jumping that fence to run the neighborhood? What I'm getting from this is if you can't afford to have your own home, you are immediately an irresponsible pet owner. We had a dog when we lived in a house but we had to sell the house and move into an apartment without a fenced in yard. Should we have put our beloved pet, who by then was thirteen, in a shelter where she most likely would have been euthanized for the mere crime that she was old and her owners could no longer have her because they couldn't afford to live somewhere with a yard? Do you know how many dogs would be killed or put into shelters if every person who lived in an apartment had to give up their dogs because they didn't have a fence?

      • G.E. Boroush

        Triplea – Even if one lives in an apartment, that’s no excuse for walking your dog on someone else’s private property. Walk your dog in a public park and walking your dog along the curb on the way to that public park. And then pick up the dog shit afterword. My front lawn is paid for by me – not you or any other taxpayer. i’ve installed a signed letting anyone know that my front yard is not for their dog to use as a public toilet. Be forewarned. I will press trespassing charges (with pictures) and I will put down cayenne, moth balls, vinegar. . .whatever it takes. It’s MY property. Not yours.

  • Gees

    It's rather simple, or you would think so. You don't leave your children in a dirty diaper. Don't leave your pets mess, in other peoples yard. Shouldn't have an animal, if you can't take care of it!!!

  • R.Dipzinski

    The problem IS the pet owners, as you all are saying….but why isn't anyone upset that they are taking it out on the animal. So it's the dogs fault that he had to take poop??? Yes, owners need to clean up after their pets, and if they don't maybe we should institute a fine for people that are caught leaving feces on the ground…it could even go so far as to have a "neighborhood watch" kind of deal, but the problem is PEOPLE, not the pets!!! Punish the ones who are responsible for cleaning it! This is driving me crazy right now. That poor dog.

  • Amy kenney

    This is unfortunate and there must be a better solution to solve the problem but I can sympathize with the property owner. I would not want an animal to be hurt and support animals against abuse but it is wrong for people to not pick up after their pets. Huge fines should be given to lazy people who don't respect the property of others. I think a find to buy cameras along the streets to catch people in the act would be a great solution! !

  • Terrence W

    Not sure if details were lost, but the woman collects rent checks from an apartment compex for subsidized housing. She doesn't own the property, complex, or public easement. It's like dumping antifreeze or bleach on the sidewalk outside of an elementary school or hospital. There are many responsible pet owners in the area. It's really not necessary to condemn the pet owners in all of Greenwood. It is necessary, though, to prevent harm to the children playing on the block and pets passing by. (Did somebody point out their children playing in grass which may have pet waste?- No mention of the children inhaling or touching the pounds of cayenne?) The focus here should be on an idividual's irresponsible rash behavior and what harmful effects are being caused on the population and environment, to say the least. This really isn't about animals defecating in YOUR yard. Why even go there? That's not the point. Hoping this awareness will change behaviors instead of igniting some "Blame Game". Let's come together as responsible citizens instead of causing separation. Buddha is healing now. :-)

    • Charles

      If she's responsible for cleaning it—it's HER yard. Cayenne pepper is NOT poisonous. It's NOT a source of "pollution" and is not going to hurt the environment. It's edible for Christ's sake! It's also a completely legal substance, and if she wants to put it in her grass, she has that right. Keep your filthy dog off it. and you'll have nothing to worry about.

      I'm about to go put some in my yard right now. There's a nasty little dog who shits in my yard every evening. Hope he gets the same treatment that your monster received!

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