Local News

Pick up or pay up: Morrisville considers $100 dog poop fine

Posted July 25, 2016 6:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2016 8:30 p.m. EDT

— A proposed ordinance under consideration in Morrisville could better motivate residents to pick up their pet's waste.

The consequence negligent dog walkers could face? A hefty fine. If passed, the new pet waste ordinance will force dog walkers to pay if they don't immediately dispose of their dog's feces.

The fine will be immediate only if dog waste is left on a property other than the offender's, but the ordinance will require pet owners to remove waste from their own yards within a week.

Residents' complaints about abandoned dog feces aren't unwarranted. Engineers with the Town of Morrisville say the waste poses a serious public health issue and affects water quality.

The new ordinance would be tricky to enforce, because a town staff member would have to witness the violation. If an official spots a negligent pet owner, they could face a $100 fine, though the payment could be waived for first time offenders.

Supporters of the proposal, including Morrisville resident Jovi Mangefriva, hope the ordinance will encourage people to always clean up after their pets.

Mangefriva carries disposable plastic bags whenever he walks his dog, Frankie, but many people don't do the same.

"I've stepped in it umpteen times and it's annoying, so I understand what people who don't even have pets must go through [when they step in dog waste]," said Mangefriva. "I'm all for it."

During a public hearing Tuesday night, town officials said that the proposal would be revised to remove language on enforcement and fines. The ordinance would remain on the books, but individual communities would be able to set their own fines and parameters of enforcement.