City’s Proposal To Fine Dogs Urinating In Public

DogWe all know that cities will fine people for not cleaning up after their dog’s waste in public. But how about fines for dogs urinating in public?

In Northampton, Massachusetts, one local dog owner, Alan L. Scheinman, said the Board of Health was threatening to set a fine of up to $1,000 for owners of dogs that urinate in public.

It all started last month when Scheinman was called before the board to answer for his rottweiler Tanya’s bathroom etiquette. Scheinman walks Tanya and Moose, Scheinman’s other rottweiler, on and around the sidewalk in front of his house to take care of business.

A clerk from the store next door brought up an issue with Scheinman and his dogs urinating on the sidewalk to the board.

Scheinman explained that since he lives downtown, he does not have a convenient access to parks. He cleans up after his dogs, but the dog owner said that he doesn’t have any control over where his dogs urinate.

He also said he frequently puts Nature’s Miracle solution on their urine to neutralize the odor. One board member suggested that Scheinman use the enzyme and let the situation go, but the chairwoman of the Board of Health wanted to schedule a site visit.

Currently, there is not city bylaw that deals with dogs urinating in public, but at the hearing, a health agent cited a state law that allows health boards to fine people for public health “nuisances.”

Scheinman spread the word about the board’s proposed measure of fining owners for dogs urinating by sending postcards to all 1,945 registered dog owners in the city. He urged them to attend the Board of Health meeting that was scheduled for this Thursday that was supposedly set to talk about this issue.

Dog owners in the city were furious and called the board. The office received 50 phone calls from last Friday until this Tuesday. The board decided to cancel the meeting because they said that Scheinman’s postcards caused confusion about the meeting.

According to Health Agent Ernest Mathieu, the board never had the intention of establishing a fine for dogs urinating, but they wanted Scheinman to curb his dogs.

“We’re working with Mr. Scheinman to change his behavior and his dogs’ behavior in the best interests of the merchants, pedestrians and shoppers who are subjected to walking through it and tracking it into stores,” he said.

Even the idea of a law in regards to dog urination caused dog owners to be up in arms. A city councilmen said that the Board of Health should focus their effort on horses instead of dogs. He said the city is going crazy.

One woman went to the Health Department to get a copy of the “no pee” law but she was told that there was none. She said it was just all ridiculous.

“Northampton’s the only city in the country to see fit to prohibit creatures from peeing in the world,” she said.

Dog owners in Northampton also ask how does the board expect them to clean and “pick up” after the dog’s urine. Other said if the laws go for dogs, then they should go for squirrels and raccoons too. Although we’re not sure who would be willing to pay their fine.

Perhaps it’s time to start potty training the dog.

Source: The Republican

(Thanks Linda)

7 Responses to “City’s Proposal To Fine Dogs Urinating In Public”

  1. sylvia says:

    How ridiculous can people be? Do the public officials in Northhampton, Mass. have no more important issues to dwell on than this? Sometimes I think we in the USA are all traveling on “a ship of fools.”

  2. Pukanuba says:

    Break out the doggie diapers……

    Get a life, you morons.

  3. catmom5 says:

    While the downtown development authorities are trying to find ways to bring more people back downtown from the suburbs, they shoot themselves in the foot with this stupid idea. GEESH

  4. Moonbeam says:

    I do believe in San Francisco, dog owners have to “Curb” their dogs - and this means they must make their dogs “pee” in the gutter/curb area. So I guess it can be done. Personally, I think it is stupid and would have a hard time getting my crew to all lift their legs in the gutter (or squat) as the case may be. But I suppose, one could try in the spirit of being civilized.

    I suppose the dog made a habit of peeing on this man’s store - now that can be annoying. I read in the newspaper where a man got mad at his neighbor and used to pee on the guys garage in the middle of the night and a video camera caught him.

    I don’t even like my dogs peeing on a neighbors lawn - it turns the lawn brown and no one likes that - so I try to vary their walking routine. That’s the best I can do.

    But a $1,000 fine for a dog peeing in public - I guess they just don’t like dogs.

  5. Mary says:

    This is over-legislation at its finest. What an incredible waste of time and resources, not to mention tax-payer money. You can’t legislate common sense — or lack thereof.

    Just remember, when we start crying for the government to “do something about that,” we could end up like Northampton.

  6. Klondike says:

    Governments forget that pet owners pay taxes, too. Some of us do not have children in the public school system and though we do not balk at supporting the common good with our taxes, we do not appreciate being scapegoated by selective taxation via absurd fines or unfair user fees.

  7. Dog Owner says:

    This is the most ridiculous law imaginable. Its different with bitches, but there is no way on earth, even with a castrated male, that you can stop the natural urge to “spray” new lamposts, walls, etc. in order to mark and keep territory.

    And there is no way you can stop mans best friend from taking a good sniff to see whats going down in the local dog town. It is the equivalent of the information superhighway for dogs.

    Free speech is a first amendment, I say it applies to dogs too! Banning dogs from their communication network is against the constitution!

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