What a waste: New York City's pooper-scooper fine hasn't gone up since the Carter administration.
The city's first ordinance that mandated picking up your dog's poop went into effect in 1978. “If you’ve ever stepped in dog doo, you know how important it is to enforce the canine waste law,” former mayor Ed Koch said.
The fine for violating the law has held unchanged at $50-100 ever since.
Fifty bucks may have gone a long way thirty years ago, but it's downright laughable now. Get caught, and what's the big deal -- you'd lose the equivalent of a half a night's drinking money. With the cost of inflation, a $50 fine back then should be about $160 in 2007 dollars. Other cities have long surpassed even that amount. Atlanta, for example, hits poop scofflaws with a $1,000 fine. Boulder, Colorado, charges $500. With the possibility of losing that kind of cash, wouldn't you think twice about looking the other way when your mutt pooped on the sidewalk?
Santa Monica, California, by the way, goes as far as to order dog walkers to have bags or scoopers in plain sight at all times!
NYC Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty is on the right track: He plans to mandate the city's maximum $100 fine beginning this fall, then lobby the state legislature to amend the law (Section 1310 of the New York State Public Health Code) to further increase the fine.
Good for Doherty. Unfortunately his plan doesn't go far enough. He eventually wants to see a $250 fine. But why stop there? A larger fine -- say, $1,000 -- would send a clear message that failing to clean up after your pet will no longer be condoned and will carry serious consequences.
The vast majority of New Yorkers are dutifully picking up after dogs. It's the responsible thing to do. But some aren't. And in a city of 8 million people, and millions of dogs, we owe it to ourselves to make sure our sidewalks are free of smelly and unsanitary waste.
So if you live in the state of New York, please take a moment to sign our petition; help us lobby the legislature to increase the fine to $1,000. Sign it, and then send a link to all your friends.
We the undersigned respectfully ask the New York State Legislature to increase the Canine Waste Law of New York City (Section 1310 of the New York State Public Health Code) to a $1,000 maximum fine.
Other cities have gone as far, and such a large fine would send a clear signal that failing to clean up your pet's waste from the sidewalks will no longer be condoned and will carry serious consequences. In a city of 8 million people, and millions of dogs, we owe it to ourselves to make doubly sure our sidewalks and streets are free of smelly, unsanitary waste.
The Increase New York City's Pooper-Scooper Fine to $1000 petition to New York State Legislature was written by Dig & Scratch and is in the category Government at GoPetition.