Commission to clarify fines for dog poop litter
October 18, 2018
Dog owners may want to consider carrying pooper scoopers now that the borough’s code review commission is working to add language to code that will fine pet owners who fail to pick up their dog’s poop.
While failing to pick up after your pet is technically a minor offense under the borough’s littering ordinance, it’s not explicit in code that addresses pets.
On Wednesday afternoon, code review commissioner Margaret Friedenauer suggested they cross reference the borough’s littering code, which prohibits “litter” from being deposited in a place other than a refuse container. In the littering code’s definitions, “litter” includes the word “garbage,” which includes “waste accumulations of animal” matter.
Similar to littering fines, those who don’t clean up after their dogs would be subject to a $50 fine, the committee suggested. In the borough’s animal code, people often face increased fines depending on whether or not their dog is neutered or not when they violate code. In jest, commissioner Sue Chasen asked whether they ought to fine pet owners more who don’t pick up after their “unaltered” dogs.
“I don’t think I’d want to look into the characteristics of the poop enough to figure out if the dog was altered or unaltered,” ex-officio commissioner Alekka Fullerton quipped.
They also discussed recommending to the borough assembly that it make more dog waste receptacles available across town. The commission discussed which borough department would oversee such containers.
“I would assume it’s public works,” Fullerton said. “It feels like Brad [Ryan’s] job.”
Ryan is the borough’s public facilities director.
The commission will address specific dog poop language at its next meeting.