QUEENSBRIDGE — These pictures are worth a thousand turds.
Queensbridge Houses tenant Ray Normandeau is hosting a dog poop photo contest — asking neighbors to send him pictures of left-behind pooch poo in an effort to call attention to the problem of people failing to pick up after their pets at the NYCHA campus.
"If they suspect nobody is looking, they just won't pick up," said Normandeau, a longtime tenant and activist who runs a news site for the Queensbridge Houses, where he's been encouraging readers to e-mail their photos.
Normandeau said he got the idea this spring, when local City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a "Curb Your Dog" poster contest with children from P.S. 150 as part of a public awareness campaign to combat a dog doo problem in Sunnyside.
He thought the same tactic could work at the Queensbridge Houses, where he says the grass around many buildings is often littered with poop that gets in the way of maintenance workers.
"The caretakers say when they go to mow the lawn, there's dog poop there," he said.
He and his wife have been taking their own pictures of the piles they spot around the neighborhood, and he's has already printed some on postcards that he handed out at community meetings.
And though he posted a call for photo submissions on his website a few months ago, he says he's yet to receive any entries, theorizing his neighbors are afraid of being associated with the delinquent pet owners.
"I think people might be afraid if they send in submissions, [people] might assume its their dog," he said.
He says he wants to print the "winning" entry on a poster that he would distribute to NYCHA management and to the Housing Bureau Police, to serve as a reminder that failure to pick up after a dog could land residents a $250 fine, according to Sanitation Department rules.
"The police should give more summonses," Normandeau said.