Mysterious Dog Pee
October 15, 2004 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Someone's dog keeps urinating in our apartment building's elevator. The smell is really disgusting and I'm tired of cleaning it up. Any recommendations on a next course of action?

short of dog poison...
posted by mert to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Complain to the superintendent? Ask them to put up signs? Closed-circuit cameras?
posted by biscotti at 3:14 PM on October 15, 2004

um... rat poison? Seriously though, your options seem to be:
  1. post a polite notice in the elevator stating the problem and asking that it be resolved (not very likely)
  2. attempt to catch the dog in the act:
    • by waiting in or around the elevator all day and night until he does it again (I recommend against)
    • by asking your super to install a temporary survalliance system (probably won't happen, if it does it may end up not being temorary)
    • doing it yourself
  3. getting a list of everyone in the building who has pets
  4. hiring a full time elevator boy
That's all I can think of at the moment.
posted by Grod at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2004

Killing the dog won't get rid of the smell. And yeah, it's just not funny to talk about killing dogs. Some asshole was doing this a while back in Portland (OR), by putting poison in dog off leash areas. As a dog owner myself, best not to go there.

Having said that, if there is a carpet in the elevator, they need to get a good enzyme-based cleaner in there and go to town. Presumably the dog owners in the building had to fork over a damage deposit when they signed the lease. Beyond that, getting the manager to post signs, or send a flyer out should do the trick. The problem is that once one dog in the building does it, the rest will follow suit and do the same by instinct, so the problem won't start to go away until the smell is eradicated.

Also, you should carry a stick with you when you are in the building's common areas. That way if you spot the owner of one of the culprits, you can hit him with it and say, "no!" :-P
posted by psmealey at 3:31 PM on October 15, 2004

ExStink for the smell (you knew I was going to say that) and to prevent other dogs from getting the idea, and complaints to the building management are about the best you can do. Any measures you take by yourself, such as a dog repelling regime of some kind, could be construed as hostile to any other non-pissing dog owners in the building.
posted by majick at 3:39 PM on October 15, 2004

Just out of interest, how do you know it's a dog?
posted by chrismear at 3:41 PM on October 15, 2004

I would call the manager of the building and tell them that you have a serious allergy to dog urine, and that they need to do something about this matter immediately, because {and here's the tricky part}, although you understand that the building owners/management company would never knowingly subject you to this kind of Health Code violation, someone else might not be so scrupulous and might turn them in to the authorities and/or hit them with a lawsuit.

In fact, you may tell them that someone who has years of experience in tenants' rights issues (i.e., me, but you don't need to tell them it's a random pseudonymous stranger from teh intarweb) suggested to you that the building's owners and management company are taking an incredible legal risk by allowing this serious Health Code violation to continue.

Tell them that you don't know who's doing it, but it needs to stop as of yesterday, and that you know that, given their outstanding record of response to tenant concerns, they will do the right thing. Also point out that some pretty well-informed people (i.e., psmealey) have told you that the elevator needs to be thoroughly steam-cleaned with an enzyme-based cleaner or the dog-urination will continue.

Actually, I'd probably just move, because I really am profoundly allergic to urine fumes (which is why I don't have children or pets, and why I don't live in New York City). But you know, I'm kind of a weirdo.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:43 PM on October 15, 2004

By "tricky" above, I mean you want to make the building manager think it's a case of "you, the wonderful management company which does such a good job of caring for us, and me, the grateful tenant, against this horribly thoughtless dog-owner" rather than "me vs. your stupid management company which would be just as happy to let me drown in animal urine as long as my rent check wasn't a nanosecond late."

Even if the latter is closer to the truth.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:45 PM on October 15, 2004

Your going to have to be assertive and rely on management to remedy this.

Notes, flyers and polite requests aren't going to work. Think about it -- assuming this dog isn't pressing elevator buttons -- the owner must be right there in the elevator with him/her when this is happening. This isn't someone likely to pay attention to a posted notice.
posted by cedar at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2004

1. As someone whose dog's been poisoned, the jokes aren't funny. Motherfucking action like that has caused my dog considerable pain and cost me considerable dollars.

2. I'm with chrismear, what makes you think it's a dog?

3. I know you said you're sick of cleaning it up but if you do clean it up again, use Javex. If the dog smells its own urine on a future trip, it'll continue to mark the spot. If the Javex doesn't work, pet stores sell a particular spray to mask the scent.
posted by dobbs at 12:26 AM on October 16, 2004

Post sign saying. "Floor has been electrified. Urinators may be electrocuted. Thx, the Mgmt."
posted by kindall at 8:48 AM on October 16, 2004

Dog pee and person pee smell different. And it's the dog owner should be cleaning up the damned pee, and the building management who should be making goddamned sure that they do so!

I think it's great when humans have dogs living with them, but any human who can't take the responsibility to clean up their dog's urine doesn't deserve to have an animal in their home.

And any building manager who lets one tenant allow his animal to urinate in public spaces doesn't deserve the other tenants' rent checks. One of the things that rent is supposed to cover is "quiet enjoyment and access" to the building's public spaces, as well as one's own apartment.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:35 PM on October 16, 2004

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