Arlington homeowner faces backlash for using 'spike mats' to keep pets out of yard

Pet owners are at odds with a homeowner in Arlington who’s taken matters into his own hands in order to stop dogs from using his yard as a bathroom.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

The home is on the corner of Key Blvd. and N. Adams St. The homeowner, Eric Wang says his yard has become a popular spot for dogs to go to the bathroom and as a result, it’s killing his bushes.

"I had the landscaping done last summer and then in the fall I noticed that the shrubs around the corner of my property started declining," Wang said. "I tried other measures. I tried a product called critter ritter which is a non-toxic odorous animal repellent that did not work at all. I tried putting up signs asking owners not to let their dogs urinate on the shrubs. It wasn’t very effective." 

Wang said before buying the product he researched it to make sure it was safe and found that other pet owners use it as well.

"The dogs passing by seem to just know not to step on this. It doesn’t puncture and for animals, I think it just causes a little discomfort," he said.

MORE FROM FOX 5: 1 dead in crash on New Hampshire Avenue in Colesville

He installed what he said is called, scat mats last week. No one has confronted him in person but hundreds of people have commented on a post on the Next Door App warning dog owners.

Several of the posts however, attack Wang personally.

One commenter wrote, "He is not alienating, this is sociopathic behavior." Another person posted, "Maybe he’s just angry because he bought an ugly house."

"People started piling on and just calling me all sorts of nasty names. Some people said I should be reported to the police and that I should be reported to the animal welfare league and that I should be reported to the county code enforcement and I was actually," he said.

Many people in the neighborhood declined to comment on camera saying it’s become too controversial of a topic among neighbors.

MORE FROM FOX 5: Grandmother targeted in one of DC's latest carjackings

One dog walker tells FOX 5 he understands both sides.

"If anything, I just wish that they’d find a different alternative. Just put up a soft fence or something like that," Carson Green said. "Nobody wants to be out for a casual walk and then have to worry about going to the vet for few hours," he added.

The spikes are plastic and do cause discomfort when pressure is applied.

Animal Control tells FOX 5 they haven’t received any reports of animals getting injured near the home and added Wang is not in violation of any code laws.