Seattle dog-scoop law enforcement

??This is interesting in light of our recent post about enforcement of the Chicago ‘excrement’ ordinance.

From the Seattle Times: “Dog owner says rules about droppings stink“. A fellow was walking his dog off leash, he was accosted by ‘humane law-enforcement officers’, and he was given a ticket.

For being off-leash.

And, for not carrying a scoop!

Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.080 about dogs in parks:

Any person with a dog or other pet in his or her possession or under his or her control in any park shall be responsible and liable for the conduct of the animal, shall carry equipment for removing feces, and shall place feces deposited by such animal in an appropriate receptacle.

The fellow’s response is interesting –

According to Guiling’s version of events, although he wasn’t carrying a plastic bag to pick up Amy’s poop, what he did was walk to a nearby garbage can, find an empty plastic bag and use that.

Guiling drove to the animal-control offices and talked to Don Baxter, the enforcement supervisor, about what exactly would constitute a poop scoop.

“My point was that there is no definition,” Guiling said. “It could be the hat on your head, it could be your hand. For $54, I’d take off my shirt and use it.”

We wonder how real this is – do people often ‘go to the garbage can’ and ‘find an empty bag’?  Seems unlikely, but then again, it’s a big world out there.

There’s more!

Remarkably, “it turns out that dog-scoop laws are studied in a law and economics class taught by Steve Calandrillo, a University of Washington professor.”

They study dog poo law at UW?  This is awesome!  No wonder Professor Calandrillo was “selected by the students as Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year in 2003-04 and 2007-08!”

Interestingly, Professor Calandrillo’s numbers are much more optimistic than ours – “Chances are, if you’re not picking up after your dog, Calandrillo said, “you’re caught one time out of 100.”  Not hardly.

The article also has some interesting ‘poundage’ numbers – “An estimated 125,000 dogs live in Seattle, and each day they dump 41,250 pounds of poop onto yards, sidewalks, parks and maybe where you stepped this morning.”

Oh, yeah, and in Seattle “there are 45 percent more canines than children.

Dogs matter, don’t they?


And for the aficionados…

The remainder of the article discusses our friends at the Snohomish County Surface Water Management Division.  The folks who’ve put out all those nice posters.

(Interestingly, their concerns are less with orphan poo in an urban setting, but rather with poo left in backyards draining into the watershed.)

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