People walking their dogs is a common sight in downtown Frederick, but what the pooches have been doing is far from cute.
"It seems like a humorous topic, and it's a little awkward to talk about," said Kelly Russell, (D) - Frederick alderman.
Even though it's awkward, city officials are talking about owners who don't pick up their pets waste after getting complaints from city residents and businesses. They're taking action by creating a pilot pledge program.
"We have a pledge," Russell said. "It's called 'Scoop the Poop' pledge, and what we're asking people to do is sign a pledge that they will promise to clean up after their pets and properly dispose of their poop."
Blue is a four-year-old Golden Retriever. His owners signed the Scoop the Poop pledge, and they say it's everyone's responsibility to keep their neighborhoods clean.
"If there was an Olympic category for poop, he'd be a gold-medal winner, and I thought it would be best for the neighborhood if we didn't leave his specimens all over the place," said John O'Connor, Blue's owner.
More than 100 pledges fill the bulletin board at City Hall's board room.
"It's a neighborhood thing. It helps with safety in the neighborhood when you have people walking around with their dog. It's healthy for people. They say you lose eight pounds a year walking a dog," O'Connor said.
People get a free pet bag dispenser when they sign the pledge.
"It's unsanitary, and it's unsightly when you find poop laying around, and the other thing that's important that the green team was focusing on is this is raw sewage really. When it rains, it goes into the ground and eventually in the water supply," Russell said.
Russell and others on the city's Green Initiative Team hope this unusual pilot program encourages people to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their waste to keep downtown Frederick a beautiful area for residents and visitors to enjoy.
You can take the pledge by going to the City of Frederick's here or pick up a hard copy of the pledge at City Hall.