Pet waste can pack hefty fineWith the weather getting nicer, some pet owners may want to take their companions for walks, but beware, there is punishment involved for letting your animal do its business on someone else’s lawn.
With the weather getting nicer, some pet owners may want to take their companions for walks, but beware, there is punishment involved for letting your animal do its business on someone else’s lawn.
The offense is a misdemeanor, which could mean a fine of up to $500 and a year in jail, dependent upon what a judge decides, said Ron Van Doorne, Dickinson Police Department senior officer, though he said the department doesn’t get many complaints.
“It depends on how it’s written too, it could be running at large, or a nuisance animal,” he said. “It’s very, very seldom (that we get calls).”
According to Dickinson city ordinance, owners of dogs or cats must remove pet waste from other people’s property and not allow it to accumulate on their own.
Any time a pet is not on its owner’s property, it has to be leashed, according to city ordinance.
Soon, the dogs of Dickinson and the surrounding area will have a place to run.
Debbi Wilson, president of Oreo’s Animal Rescue, a group organizing an approximate $60,000 dog park in Dickinson, said there will be signs requiring owners to pick up after their pets, along with “mitts” provided for owners.
The park will be located on undeveloped land adjoining the Gress Softball Complex in south Dickinson, according to a previous Dickinson Press article.
The goal for the grand opening of the dog park is early June, she added.
Animal waste is a problem along certain stretches of walking paths, said James Kramer, director of Dickinson Parks and Recreation.
“We have went in some areas, the higher-use areas, and put those pet waste stations where there’s a plastic bag and you can pull it out and do that,” Kramer said. “There are areas where people just don’t bring anything with them when they go for a walk with their dog, or don’t grab something that’s already there.”
Killdeer doesn’t have a specific fine for pets relieving themselves on other people’s yards, but there is an expectation for people to clean up after their pets, said Warren Hoffman, Killdeer Police Department chief.
If an owner is seen allowing their pet to do their business on other people’s lawns, usually the homeowner will notify the department and they will address the situation with the pet owner which usually clears everything up, he said.
Killdeer does have a leash law, Hoffman added.