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What is the new pooper scooper law in Wilmington?

Ken Little

According to the revised city ordinance in Part 2, Section 12-28, that covers domestic animal waste, “No person in custody or control of an animal shall allow said animal to discharge any fecal matter on any public property unless the person in custody or control of said animal immediately and fully removes and disposes of the feces.”

“Such public properties include, but are not limited to, streets, sidewalks, plazas, parks, rights-of-way, paths, public access areas, storm drains, ditches, streams, creeks, drainage-ways, other publicly owned property and dedicated and officially accepted easements.”

As of Nov. 1, 2009  it will be unlawful for the owner or handler of an animal “to take it off its own property without the means to properly and immediately remove and dispose of the animal’s feces,” the ordinance states.

Those means “shall consist of having on one’s person a device such as a plastic bag or other suitable ‘scooper’ that can be used to fully clean up and contain the animal’s waste until it can be disposed of in a closed trash receptacle or other appropriate refuse container. Such a device must be produced and shown upon request to anyone authorized to enforce this ordinance,” according to city law.

There is a $250 fine and the ordinance covers all public property, says city Stormwater Services Division compliance officer Beth Nunnally.

“That’s in everybody’s neighborhood. That’s at the end of their driveway,” Nunnally says.

Code compliance officers will attempt to educate the public at first about the new law but will issue tickets to repeat offenders, Nunnally says.

Compliance officers will make “surprise visits” throughout the city in areas outlined in the ordinance.

“It’s always a good idea to take more than one bag,” Nunnally says. “The fine for not having a bag is going to be $250.”

The public can report chronic violators of the ordinance by calling 341-0092. To look at Wilmington city ordinances, go to www.ci.wilmington.nc.us/ and click on city ordinances on the left-hand side of the page.

User-contributed question by:
Bob Timms

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One Response to “ What is the new pooper scooper law in Wilmington?”

  1. On December 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm Susan Clizbe wrote:

    That’s great to hear. I don’t understand how anyone walks a dog and just leaves the poop wherever the dog stops to go. I lived in Santa Monica 10+ years ago, and basically this same law had been in effect for quite a while there then. The key to success is enforcement, though – they ticket aggressively out there, and everyone knows it.

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