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9021Mom: Be a Human's Best Friend by Picking Up After Your Dog

Cleaning up your pooch's waste is neighborly and helps protect the public's health.

If only dogs were cats, we wouldn't have to buy special plastic bags to pick up poop. 

Teacup dogs can be taught to use a litter box. They benefit from the convenience because their bladders are small and the ability to go when they need to is both a plus for their masters and more comfortable for the dogs. 

But for most of us, an indoor dog bathroom is not an option. Instead there are the early morning, midday and evening walks for "man's best friend."

Beverly Hills Municipal Code 5-2-105: Animal Defecation on Public and Certain Private Property, states that "it shall be unlawful for the owner or person having charge or control of any animal to permit such animal to defecate and to allow the feces to remain upon any public or private property not owned or possessed by the owner or person having the charge or control of such animal ... ” 

In essence, it is the owner or handler’s responsibility to pick up after his or her pooch. Visually impaired persons are exempt.

How is this rule enforced? 

I called the and learned that code enforcement officers, working out of City Hall, are the primary regulators. But unless the deed is witnessed, the guilty party cannot be cited after the fact.

Next I phoned Beverly Hills Code Enforcement Manager Nestor Otazu, who was pleased to be of service in educating me on the subject.

About three years ago the city kicked off the “It’s Your Doo-ty, Pick It Up” campaign. By means of outreach, Beverly Hills was committed to educating the public on why picking up after your four-legged companion is beneficial and respectful.

Why is it necessary to pick up after your pet? 

The bad smell, difficulty scraping the soles of your shoes and the unsightliness of feces can turn a peaceful stroll into sidewalk hopscotch. 

Dog feces contain bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause disease to humans and other animals.

Flies take to dog feces like bees take to honey. They also enjoy the taste of chicken off the barbecue and make their way through open windows and doors. These pesky insects carry disease-causing organisms from pet poop that are a threat to public health and the environment. 

Runoff from storm drains when water has come into contact with feces finds its way into the ocean, further polluting the environment.

Through marketing and communication the city installs, upon request, “It’s Your Doo-ty, Pick It Up” signs. There is no fee for the signage. To maintain continuity without overkill, only one sign is permitted per home, unless you live on a corner plot, where two signs are permitted (one on each street-facing side of the house). They can be placed on the front lawn or on the patch of grass between the sidewalk and curb.

When the signs are disregarded by discourteous neighbors, Code Enforcement has several remedies for compliance.

When an irate resident notices the same owner using the same lawn continuously without cleaning up, a formal complaint can be made to Code Enforcement. 

A warning is sent to the offender. The warning usually stops the violator out of embarrassment and the knowledge that someone is watching. If that does not work, an administrative fine is imposed. Through due process of law an appeal can be submitted if the wrongdoer thinks a mistake has been made.

Practice mindfulness and remember: It is your duty to pick up the doo-ty.

For further information on how to obtain a free dog defecation sign, visit the Beverly Hills website or stop into City Hall and you will be directed to the appropriate office.

And for the green-minded, on North Crescent Drive sells "BioBag," a biodegradable dog waste bag. Avoid using plastic grocery bags, which are are not biodegradable.

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Sonya Simpkins August 03, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Ugh! It is so annoying to see old dog poop on the sidewalks and lawns. As a dog parent, it is your responsibility to clean up after your pet. Here are two great supporting articles regarding dog poop. One is how apartment managers/landlords can use DNA testing to bust lazy dog parents and the other is about three great reasons to poop scoop. http://www.ilovedogs.com/2011/07/no-poop-left-behind-thanks-to-dna-testing/ http://www.ilovedogs.com/2011/01/dont-want-to-pick-up-dog-poop-itll-cost-you/
Sherri Levin August 04, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Thank you , Sonya for your comments. The two articles you suggested sound interesting and will link to them to see what they have to say. The one that's most curious to me is the DNA one. I would automatically think of the costs involved to perform such tests. Though it does sound like a severe punishment. I wanted to add to the owners who are concerned about cleanliness in their homes, to either rinse, wipe off, or buy doggie booties for your pet's feet. We wear shoes to keep our feet clean. The dog paws should be clean. There are allergies the dog can get on their feet which cause licking and chewing on their feet at all times , not good for their health. Perhaps these allergies are cause by bacteria on the grass from old poop disintegrating. Better for your floors and carpets also, especially carpet.
Ellen Lutwak September 13, 2011 at 05:08 AM
Week after week, a pile of poop appears right in front of the sign we have on our lawn saying to pick up your dog's poop. Ready to call the police. To top this: our neighbor's sign was torn apart, and the pieces were thrown in front of our sign. Who are these people?
Ellen Lutwak October 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Yet another pile of dog poop appeared right in front of the sign we have on our lawn saying to pick up your dog's poop. Calling the city. Who are these very rude people?
greg Harris May 26, 2012 at 06:39 AM
We have been in the professional scooper business for over 10 years now in Scottsdale, AZ. We clean apartments, HOAs, residential, city parks, hotels, and events. There is always a few that don't pick up even if you report them and fine them. Scooper companies and Pet Stations will help a lot, but they won't eliminate the problem totally. It takes people reporting and taking pictures and then someone enforcing the laws. PetStationSupply.com has some of the most affordable pet waste stations and bags on the market. Also, for anyone interested in starting a scooper business, PooperScooperBeverlyHills.com domain is for sale or will refer business to your company.

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