Clayton, N.C. — A woman who failed to clean up after her dog did its business in front of the Clayton Police Department last week has become an object of scorn on the department's Facebook page.
An officer who found dog waste outside the department on Sept. 17 reviewed footage from a security camera and found the offending animal and its owner. The officer then posted an image of the woman and her dog on Facebook, saying that she had violated a town ordinance by not cleaning up after her pet.
Many area cities and towns have similar regulations requiring pet owners to pick up waste in public places.
Clayton spokeswoman Stacy Beard said the Facebook posting might have been an overreaction, but she noted that the dog waste was next to a new memorial honoring three police officers killed in the line of duty.
"It’s a significant and sensitive spot for our department," Beard said. "So, to have this happen just feet in front of it, it was very upsetting."
The woman hasn't been identified, but the posting prompted dozens of comments on the department's Facebook page. Some complain about her, while others say Clayton officers should focus on bigger crimes in town.
"I wouldn't have an issue with the CPD posting this if it wasn't for the fact that I have had to call the CPD multiple times for various reasons and they never show up," Sarah Crane wrote.
"A crime is a crime, no matter how small you may think it is. It's not that hard to pick up after your dog," Jennifer Amaon wrote.
Clayton passed the "dog owner responsibility" ordinance in 1997 after receiving complaints from residents, Beard said. Violators are assessed a $25 civil penalty for a first offense and $75 for each additional offense.