City Issuing Fewer Tickets to Lax Pooper Scoopers

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011  |  Updated 9:08 AM EDT
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The city is handing out fewer tickets to pet owners who don't pick up after their dogs.

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The Sanitation Department is giving out fewer violations to people who neglect to pick up after their pets, according to a new analysis of city data.

Agency officials have doled out just 250 summonses to unlawful pooper scoopers this fiscal year, which ends June 30. That's about half the amount they handed out in the previous fiscal year.

And in fiscal 2008, more than 900 violations were issued – nearly four times the number issued in the 2011 fiscal year thus far.

City Councilman James Vacca, a Bronx Democrat, told the New York Post he normally condemns aggressive ticketing by city police, but that this particular poop problem has gotten out of hand.

“I get complaints on a regular basis about sidewalks and park areas that have become completely impassable because of dog waste,” Vacca wrote in a letter to Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, according to the Post.

City officials told the Post the drop in tickets issued stems from an increase in compliance, not a lack of enforcement. Vacca said he didn’t believe that was true, and told the city to step up its focus on pooper-scooper enforcement.

The city said that doling out tickets to owners who don’t pick up dog poop isn’t the only responsibility of officers in that particular unit.

The fine for not picking up after your pet jumped to $250 from $100 in November 2008.

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