Scoop Up the Poop or Pick Up the Tab

If Hugh Jackman can clean up after his furry friend, so can you. FilmMagic

Attention dog owners: Prepare to pay more if you neglect your canine's business.

Finally, officials are stepping up in defense of the less fortunate among us who end up forced to go to work wearing shoes that stink through no fault of our own. The Parks Department is raising its pooper-scooper violator fine to $250, up from the current $100.

The fine will be hiked in June, according to The New York Daily News.

"We hope it will further deter dog owners who do not stoop to scoop," Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said during a city council hearing yesterday.

New York is a walking city – and so many walkers have had the unfortunate experience of stepping in a pile of doggy-doo while trying to cross the sidewalk. Maybe it gets smeared on the sole of your shoe and you drag it in your kitchen; maybe you’re clever enough to take off your kicks before you go inside. Either way, it’s incredibly annoying when you have to suffer the consequences of people not picking up after their dogs.

Earlier this year, a New York Post report exposed the crappiest neighborhoods in the big city. The Bronx proved the worst, with 354 violations for unattended droppings – more than a third of the summonses issued across the city. Brooklyn was second “crappiest,” with 224 fines in 2008 – nearly a 50 percent spike over 2007. Queens proved a little cleaner – 168 fines in 2008 – but its swanky Astoria neighborhood topped the list with infractions. Staten Island only had 53 citations last year, but that marks a whopping 120 percent increase over the year before. Manhattan residents had an 88 percent increase in fines for leaving doggy-doo on the ground.

Overall, the city was slammed with 909 violations from July 2007 to June 2008 – a 16 percent spike over the prior year – according to the Post.

In November, the Sanitation Department jacked up its fine to $250 – a quintuple increase -- for folks who fail to pick up their dogs' poop.

Benepe said not only is the parks department jacking up fines for poop neglectors, it's nabbing more of them in an effort to clear city streets of the unwanted goo. Enforcement officials issued 71 summonses in March, 98 in April and 10 thus far in May, according to the Daily News. Benepe's next endeavor is to "change the culture of litter in our parks."