A man in San Diego’s North Park community has dumped chocolate chips in his yard in an effort to deter dogs, but the act is upsetting neighbors.
Frustrated with neighborhood dogs leaving waste on his lawn and dog owners not picking up after their pets, a man known as "John" recently scattered several pounds of chocolate chips in the grass in front of his home on Lincoln Avenue and in a nearby easement.
John said it was an experiment – and that it worked. Over the last several days pet owners have been steering clear of his property, with some neighbors afraid the candy will make their animals sick.
Some concerned residents have called San Diego County Animal Control and the San Diego Police Department to complain, saying this is threatening the lives of their pets.
Sarah Fisher is one of those worried residents, and she’s warning others in North Park not to walk near John’s home.
“[Residents] are scared of what he might do,” Fisher told NBC 7. “If he is doing this – which is like an animal genocide – pretty much, he's putting it out for animals to ingest and get sick.”
Through social media and a neighborhood phone app, Fisher has been alerting local pet owners of the chocolate chips left in John's yard.
Fisher has a two-year-old golden doodle named Lucy that she walks with regularly. She is now avoiding John’s property but fears unsuspecting animals will stumble upon the candy and get sick.
John agreed to an interview Tuesday with NBC 7, if his face wasn’t shown on camera. He said irresponsible dog owners are constantly not picking up after their pets and leaving piles of waste in his yard.
He said he has left signs in front of his home – including a note written on a yoga mat that suggests an animal could be electrocuted if it urinates on his tires.
However, those signs don’t seem to work, John said, so he came up with the chocolate chips idea.
“They can walk on the other side of the street,” he said. “I am tired of it. People disrespect my yard; I'm tired of the stuff.
John insists chocolate won't harm the animals. Still, there is a large school of thought that says it can be toxic to dogs and can lead to illness and even death, depending on what kind of chocolate it is and how much a dog ingests.
John said he plans to mow the grass in the next few days to get rid of the remaining chocolate morsels. However, his neighbors want something done about the situation immediately.
San Diego County Animal Control Deputy Director Dan DeSousa said animal services investigators were notified of this incident by North Park residents on Monday.
He said the investigation is ongoing, and no further details would be released at this time.
On Wednesday John said someone had broken the mirror on his car in what he believes is retaliation against him putting the chocolate chips in his yard.