BANGOR – A city committee on Wednesday endorsed an expansion of the city’s “pooper scooper” ordinance to include all public property.
The government operations committee originally considered an amendment that would also have included all private property on which the dog owner did not have permission to let the pet leave its waste.
The recommended change must now go before the full council on July 9 for consideration before it takes effect.
The current ordinance applies only to city parks.
The private property restriction was removed Wednesday after the city’s legal counsel advised the committee that enforcement would be difficult enough on public property, and would potentially involve the city in numerous “neighborhood feuds.”
City Councilor Nichi Farnham said she believed the compromise would serve the public well.
“This will give us a little bit more to work with,” Farnham said, adding that the private property restriction could later be added if a need arose.
Assistant City Solicitor John Hamer told the committee that private homeowners could bring civil trespassing charges against the owners of unwanted dogs who go to the bathroom on their private property.
The new ordinance would require that dog owners immediately remove waste from the street, sidewalk, the grassy area between the two, and any other public place or city owned property.
The penalty for violating the new rule would be not less than a $50 fine.
The new ordinance would not apply to dog owners whose physical handicap prevents them from complying with the requirements.
There are about 2,000 licensed dogs in the city, according to the city’s animal control officer.