Council Advancing On Pooper Scooper Law

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

City Council members are poised to pass two "pooper scooper" laws designed to encourage "responsible pet owners."

The council is due to vote next week on an ordinance allowing police officers, rangers or animal control officers to cite those who do not clean up after their animals at city parks, greenways and sidewalks.

A similar ordinance dealing with those who allow their animals to mess on other peoples' property will be dealt with in two weeks.

The latter ordinance initially would have applied to pet owners on their own property, but it was decided that was too restrictive.

City Attorney Randy Nelson had inquired, "You mean I can't let my own dog out in my backyard."

Councilman Jack Benson responded, "You can if you pick up after him."

But Councilman Benson later agreed to strike that portion of the ordinance.

Larry Zehnder, who heads city parks and recreation, said he fully supports the portion dealing with the parks.

He said, "There is no question in my mind that it is needed in our parks."

The maximum fine is $50, plus court costs.

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