Canine Waste Law: A Primer
I have been researching the Canine Waste Law (better known as the “Pooper Scoop” law) for a couple of days. This has been no small task; sure, there is a lion’s share of web sites that tell you to clean up after your dog— and it pretty much ends there. I am not satisfied with this answer. I want to know the exact letter of the law, what city agencies are responsible for its enforcement, and what penalties are assessed against violators.
While not all-inclusive, I think I have enough information to merit a post…
New York State Consolidated Laws, Article VI, Section 95 Â§ 161.03.: Control of dogs and other animals to prevent nuisance.
A person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat or other animal shall not permit the animal to commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.
(Penalties for) Health code violations.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, violations of subdivision (f) of section 11.65, 131.11, 139.07, 161.03, 161.05, 181.03, or 181.17 of the health code of the city are hereby declared to be violations. Punishment for violations of subdivision (f) of section 11.65, section 131.11, 139.07, 161.03, 161.05 or 181.03 shall be by a fine of not to exceed twenty-five dollars or by imprisonment for not to exceed ten days, or both and punishment for violations of section 181.17 shall be by a fine of not to exceed fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not to exceed fifteen days or both. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, punishment for violations of section 131.03 shall be by a fine of not to exceed two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not to exceed three months or both.
The agencies responsible for enforcing the above-listed statute are the Departments of Sanitation and Parks and Recreation. If you wish to report someone who isn’t cleaning up his (or her) doggie doo, call 311 and they’ll hook you up with the “Sanitation Action Center”. Yes, that is the actual name of the enforcement arm of the DOS. (I don’t care what the “Sanitation Action Center” pays, I’ll work there just to have the privilege of listing THAT on my resume.)
Conclusion: I believe 10 days imprisonment is a bit heavy-handed for such an offense, but a (paltry) fine of $25.00 is asinine. Anyone can hustle $25.00— even me.