Those who don’t clean up after their pet in Wrightsville Beach are subject to a $250 fine for failure to carry a litter device.
“It does get enforced. We can’t watch everybody, but we do check and make sure they have bags all the time. We’re always out on the loop,” says Shannon Slocum, park ranger for the town.
Slocum estimates that about 70 citations have been issued in the first three-quarters of 2009. The $250 fine is non-negotiable and cannot be worked off by the offending pet owner. Stations are located in The Loop area that include free litter bags for dog owners.
“There’s no excuse for not picking up behind your dog. People who do that are better off leaving their pets at home, but we’re very vigilant here on the beach,” Slocum says.
Most pet owners readily comply with the ordinance. “It’s the one or two people we get out here
on a daily basis. They come out here late in the evening and early in the morning and they’re looking around and they will eventually get caught. It’s an expensive day for them,” Slocum says.
People are cited regularly, he says. Other dog owners and town employees often alert Slocum about offenders.
“We can’t be everywhere but we kind of encourage responsible pet owners to monitor the non-responsible ones,” he said. “It’s a health thing. The Loop and the beach attract so many people, you have to be on it all the time.”
Slocum works different hours and moves around The Loop and beach areas. Sometimes he’s in in uniform and sometimes not.
“If you don’t have a bag with you, you will get a ticket, point blank. You have to have something to pick up after your dog,” he says.
Slocum’s office is in the Wrightsville Beach municipal building, near the police department. His telephone number is (910) 256-7945, ext. 410.
“It’s a respect issue,” he says. “They don’t do it in their neighborhoods. We don’t want them to do it in ours.”
Date posted: September 11, 2009
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