HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Highlands Ranch is warning pet owners at the popular Hound Hill dog park that "excessive pet waste will result in this dog park being closed."
The HR Metro District put up the sign about a week ago after park rangers say they found a large amount of dog poop that no one had bothered to pick up.
"It's certainly a health and safety issue for people and pets. It's also a water quality issue because that dog waste can make its way down into our streams," said Sherry Eppers, a spokeswoman for the town.
The Hound Hill dog park is located off S. Quebec St. and Lincoln Ave. in Highlands Ranch.
"To have a special place like this and not take care of it, not try to pick up after your own animal [is sad]," said Debbie Whisnant, who's been coming to the park with her two dogs for the last seven years.
Whisnant is a part of a group of women and dog owners who have become close friends, thanks to the dog park.
"It would be kind of sad to not be able to get together with the same people and the same dogs," said Cindy Ceabert, who is a part of the group and owns basset hounds. "Please, please start picking it up. It's your responsibility; it's not the dogs fault."
Concerned about the possible closure, the group has decided to take matters into their own hands.
"We just pick it all up and it's looking a lot cleaner," said Ceabert. "Hopefully they've noticed. I know that the trash cans are constantly full, so that's the good news."
The Metro District said it doesn't want to have to close the park, and has never had to close a dog park before. But if the problem is not fixed soon, Eppers said it could have no choice.
"We're hoping that people will self-police, that they will monitor both themselves and other dog owners," she said.
A similar problem forced Jefferson County officials to close Evergreen's popular Elk Meadow Dog Park.