Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting Tough on Poop

At last night's Common Council Legal Committee meeting, committee chair John Friedman (Third Ward) suggested it was time the City got serious about making people abide by the pooper scooper law and pick up after their dogs. He proposed an amendment to Section 70-11 of the City Code which would make the fine for ignoring the pooper scooper law $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses. Friedman said he believed the tougher fines would be an incentive for people to obey the law and clean up after their dogs.          


  1. There is a logical hierarchy in enforcing Hudson's pooper scooper laws that just isn't sinking in.

    Dog walkers must always carry an available "device suitable to cause the removal of stools" (§ 70-4B).

    Only the "device" law is enforceable at all times, whereas any officer will tell you that the HPD must witness a dog in the act in order to enforce § 70-4A-5 (requiring dog owners to "cause the defecation stools to be immediately removed ...").

    If the HPD never witnesses the infraction, then the law is effectively unenforceable.

    Instead of encouraging the HPD to ask people whether they're carrying a free plastic bag (even asking it from their cruiser windows), we're now going to amend a law which is no more enforceable than it was before?!

    That is not dealing with the problem at all.

    Where is the common sense?!

    1. In the 21st c we have our plate full of "laws".

      Agreed - "enforcement" is the real issue !

    2. Neither logic nor common sense are strong cards in Hudsons deck.

    3. Man, you can say that again!

  2. As long as they are stiffening the Poop laws, why don't they tackle the litter laws. I am very tired of retriving chicken bones and other garbage from my dogs mouth.

  3. Same exact logic applies TCH.

    In terms of deterrence, stiffening the litter fines means nothing if an officer is never in a situation to catch the split-second infraction.

    (And if one person is finally caught and consequently financially ruined, how would anyone else find out about it so that it could become the deterrent you want? In that event ruining someone was only a way to generate revenue, which may be less community-minded than the littering.)

    Last month I watched someone sweeping fast food trash from the floor of their car onto their previous accumulation of litter. On viewing the scene later, the first thing the officer told me was "Sorry, I had to see it happen myself."

    Subsequently I filed a personal complaint against the party, which is what I was planning to do anyway. It took nearly two weeks of perseverance: many phone calls and multiple trips to the HPD which ended up in lots and lots of pointless waiting.

    But there is no analogy between littering and carrying poop bags. The latter can easily be policed and even small fines will quickly become a deterrent. I'd love to take credit for such an elegant solution, except that it is common practice in cities across America.