Too many dogs urinating on trees in downtown Denver

DENVER -- There was a lot of serious discussion Wednesday morning during the annual Downtown Denver Partnership's breakfast meeting.

And then there was discussion of dog urine.

During a presentation for the Partnership's annual State of Downtown Report, a panel discussion focused on the number of dogs in the Union Station neighborhood.

It's estimated nearly 2,000 dogs will be living within a few blocks of each other in the near future. With limited green space - and limited trees - that means man's best friend is often using trees to go to a bathroom.

That's a problem because trees and dog urine do not mix well together.

"We have tripled our downtown population since 2000 and with that comes opportunity -- so we attract a King Soopers,  a Whole Foods, and we attract lots and lots of dogs," Randy Thelen, VP of Economic Development with the Downtown Denver Partnership said.

Thelen said some city groups and developers are in the process of creating Tree Protection Plans but more must be done to ensure man's best friend has adequate green space.

"If you look around downtown we've got this great urban environment but a lot of it is concrete and not necessarily green grass so we need to figure out where we need to create pockets of parks where these dogs can play," Thelen added.

Brian Albrecht, a downtown resident, isn't surprised with the dog numbers -- he is surprised to learn urine is a problem.

"I've never lived in a building with so many dogs," Albrecht said.

"I didn't think peeing on a tree would cause any harm," Albrecht added.

Read how the problem exists in New York City, too.