January 15, 2009

Seattle pooper scooper law too vague

A Seattle law that mandates all dog owners carry some sort of pooper scooper while walking their dogs is too vague, at least one dog owner says.

Seattle resident Steve Guiling said he received a $54 citation from humane law-enforcement officers for not carrying a pooper scooper while taking his 13-year-old shepherd-mix dog for a walk, The Seattle Times said Thursday.

After investigating the city law for dog walks in parks, Guiling found the regulation mandates that a dog walker shall carry equipment for removing feces.

Guiling maintains he typically uses plastic bags from area garbage cans to remove his dog's droppings and says the city ordinance should be more clearly defined.

My point was that there is no definition, he said. It could be the hat on your head, it could be your hand.

Don Baxter, an enforcement supervisor for Seattle's animal-control offices, told the Times the wording of Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.080 could be clearer for dog owners.

I've had people say they'd take off their stocking cap and use this if the dog defecates, Baxter said. Another individual said they'd pull their glove out of their pocket.