Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Pooper Scooper law keeps our sidewalks clean

Mauricio & dog, Mason

Mauricio & dog, Mason

Diane Haberstroh writes from Bohemia, New York

In 1977, New York State enacted a “pooper scooper” law to keep the sidewalks clean of dog excrement. In Bohemia, our code states: “No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer or allow such dog to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk or on any public property whatsoever”.
Dog owners in Bohemia are good about cleaning up after their dogs. You will see them holding plastic bags or pooper-scoopers, as if to show neighbors that they are serious about cleaning up after their pet. My neighbor Mauricio Cifuentes [pictured] walks his dog everyday and also takes him to a local dog park on weekends. He uses biodegradable bags that are given away at the local dog park.
I asked a code enforcer how many people are fined a year for not cleaning up after their dogs. Her answer was, “There are no statistics to report. The fine would be a minimum of $50 and not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, but I don’t think that would ever happen.” I spoke to an animal control officer who said that in all his years on the job he’d never issued a fine for “pooper scooper” violation. He said, “To fine someone we would have to catch his dog in the act. Do you know how hard that would be?”
  Our “pooper-scooper” law has pretty much trained New York dog owners to be responsible about cleaning up after their pets. We expect and demand that pet owners clean up after their dogs. This is probably why the Town of Islip employees don’t need to spend time following dog walkers around trying to catch a dog in the act of pooping on a sidewalk. You can walk around here without worrying too much about stepping into a dog mess and that’s the way we like it.
Diane Haberstroh

Diane Haberstroh

Diane Haberstroh

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