2011-04-29 / Top Stories

City: Pooper Scooper Law Hard To Enforce

101 Precinct Admits Far Rockaway No Different From Rest Of City
By Miriam Rosenberg


The executive officer of the 101 Precinct, Captain Matthew Hanrahan, explains there is little the NYPD can do when it comes to enforcing the Pooper Scooper law unless violators are caught breaking the law. The executive officer of the 101 Precinct, Captain Matthew Hanrahan, explains there is little the NYPD can do when it comes to enforcing the Pooper Scooper law unless violators are caught breaking the law. Saying that catching violators is a difficult task, members of the 101 Precinct told Far Rockaway residents recently that enforcing the 33-year-old Pooper Scooper law is not as easy as one would think, despite what seems to be a minefield of dog poop littering Far Rockaway’s streets.

“It’s all over,” said one woman, as another agreed.

During this month’s 101 Precinct Community Council meeting on April 20, executive officer Captain Matthew Hanrahan responded to the concerns about the quality of life problem.

“If they don’t clean up after [the dogs] it’s a summonsible offense,” said Hanrahan. “They can get a summons, but we have to observe it.”

Community Affairs Officer Kevin Campbell added, “I’ve done it [given out summonses], but it’s a rare occurrence.”

WCBS-2 News recently reported that the difficulty enforcing the law is citywide.

“It’s actually one of the hardest summonses to write,” said Matthew Lipani, a spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation. “We have to see it in action. At that point we can write a summons. The dog owner has to get caught in the act.”

Reportedly, since July 1, 2010, the beginning of the city’s current fiscal year, the Enforcement Unit for DOS has issued 250 summonses for failing to clean up after a pet.

The Canine Waste Law (Section 1310 of the New York State Public Health Code) went into effect across New York State in 1978 and called for the “Removal of canine wastes in cities with a population of four hundred thousand or more persons.” The law states that, “each person who owns, or controls a dog must remove any feces left by that dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, or other public area and dispose of it in a legal manner.” Violation of the law carries a fine of $250. New York City was the first major American city to have such a law.

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