The sight of dog poop on the side of the road is unpleasant, not to mention, dangerous. In some places abandoned dog waste is also illegal. It runs the risk of flowing into storm drains, and directly into nearby rivers and water supplies, effectively polluting the area.
When it comes to the pet owners’ personal property, in most of the country, the choice to scoop belongs to the pet owner. However, chances are, if you are in a public place, you need to be cleaning up after yourself and your dog. Parks and playgrounds, particularly areas frequented by children are among those locations owners need to be most careful in. Fecal matter spreads germs and diseases that no one wants to get. It distributes parasites, and contaminates the ground where it lies.
Many a common citizen becomes incensed when he or she steps in dog poop. The smell alone is enough to drive some to complain to their local government. Signs might go up banning dogs in certain parks, or the mall, and because some owners do clean up after their dog, they too get irritated at the injustice.
Some landlords choose to ban dogs from their buildings for similar reasons. Dog waste can be annoying and unpleasant to tenants. Dogs also have a tendency to spend landlords’ money in unexpected ways, like on fixing the landscaping, replacing walls and floors wracked with scratches…hmm, how could that have happened?
In many places it is a crime to just leave pet waste wherever it may lie. Owners who disregard these laws are subject to fines, from $50 to $500. In Chicago, the law prohibiting leaving dog poop exposed on property is 35 years old. Violators are issued a ticket and fine, and there’s been recent attention paid by Chicago communities to the enforcement of this law. The New York City Health Code bans pets from pooping—“committing a nuisance”—on public sidewalks, the walls, floors, stairs or roof of any premises used my the public, and on the stairs, wall or floor of any place adjacent to a public building. Violators can expect to be ticketed by a member of the Parks Department, the Health Department, or the Parks and Recreation Department. Miami law is also clear that dogs are not allowed to relieve themselves on public property—or commonly held private property—and that dog owners are held accountable for picking up waste materials and disposing of them properly.
Check local law: look up your community, town, or city’s ordinances on cleaning up after your dog. Carry dog poop bags, dog waste bags it’s that simple.