Ready for fill-up: The Village of La Jolla gets 6 dog waste stations

Enhance La Jolla President Ed Witt's dog Emma visits a newly installed dog waste station in The Village.

A project two years in the making came to fruition the morning of May 15 when six dog waste stations were installed throughout La Jolla Village for public use.

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital donated about $3,000 to buy the stations, and Enhance La Jolla, administrator for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District, will maintain them at an estimated $2,000 annual cost.

The stands include dog waste bags and a compartment to dispose of them.

“We actually got the idea from reading the Light,” said La Jolla Veterinary Hospital administrator Stephanie Coolidge. “People would write in with complaints and send photos of filled dog bags or pictures of dog waste on the street. And I would see them behind our hospital and walking down Girard [Avenue]; the trash cans were overloaded regularly. We realized it was a problem.”

Her solution was all-in-one dog waste bag stations, which she had seen in other communities in San Diego.

“My local park has waste stations and it was a big thing here,” Coolidge said. “I have a daughter and I would see dog feces when I would take her to the playground, but it decreased drastically when the stations went in.”

Coolidge then met with clients to gather feedback on the idea, which she said was all positive.

And with funds available to purchase the stations, the only problem was maintenance. Enter MAD.

The Maintenance Assessment District was established for The Village in November 2016. Local nonprofit Enhance La Jolla receives funds generated through property assessments and uses them for ongoing efforts including landscape maintenance, street and sidewalk cleaning, litter and graffiti abatement and additional trash collection. Through its contract with the city of San Diego, MAD enhancements can be done in the public right of way.

“The MAD came in and had all the answers,” Coolidge said. “They explained they have a maintenance system in place and they brought it to the [Enhance La Jolla] board and they all agreed to it. After waiting for two years, it felt like it went so fast.”

MAD will empty the stations and put in new bags when they run out.

“We were excited to get it going,” said Enhance La Jolla President Ed Witt. “We want to make sure The Village is thought of as a friendly place for dogs to encourage walking, not only for residents but visitors as well. We have pet-friendly hotels, so this will work out quite outstandingly for us. This is just another way we can enhance La Jolla and make it a great place to live, work and play. We really appreciate what La Jolla Veterinary Hospital has done.”

The six locations are in front of Muttropolis, the La Valencia Hotel and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library; midblock on Girard Avenue between Silverado Street and Wall Street; on Silverado near the bus stop at Girard; and near Häagen-Dazs on Prospect Street.

If the program is well-received, more stations likely will be purchased and installed. ◆