Mayor Bill de Blasio was doing his weekly call-in show with Brian Lehrer on WNYC when a caller asked him about a particularly messy topic — no, not his hush-hush fundraisers, it’s dog poop!
The caller wanted to know why the city doesn’t enforce the pooper scooper laws more aggressively, adding that “I don’t even know why dogs need to poop in the street. If you have a dog, perhaps maybe, you know, people should educate people, have peoples dogs poop in their own home, train them to poop in the newspaper – no I’m serious, in their homes, like why on public streets?”
Brian Lehrer chimed in, referencing an article first written about in West Side Rag about the city’s preference that people “not just dump the scooped poop in a corner waste basket but bring it home.”
The mayor said he hadn’t heard about the bring-the-poop-home initiative, but he did say that he’s looking to boost enforcement.
Mayor: I have honestly not heard that Brian. I do think this is an issue that a lot of everyday people in this city care about and I’ve asked my colleagues in the administration to come up with a new plan. Mayor Koch famously, you know took a very aggressive approach to this and I think he was right. There is the question of money and you know how we pay for the enforcement and the number of agents we need. But I think Q is raising a good point. You know, it might be the kind of thing that we could fund because unfortunately there are so many people violating the law right now that there will be a number of violations given and would bring in some revenue. We never want to do these things for the sake of revenue. But it is getting bad, it has been bad out there for a while and I do think more enforcement is called for. So I’ve asked my team to put together an enforcement plan and then figure out you know how we are going to pay for it in light of the kind of budget challenges we are facing right now.
Lehrer: I knew I remembered this from somewhere, I didn’t think I made it up. From our own website Gothamist, doos, with two Os, Doos and Don’ts, City Recommends Carrying Dog Poop Home to Flush Down Toilet. Is this familiar to you?
Mayor: Not at all. I have not heard that one before.
Later, Lehrer brought up the issue again, noting that the article was first published in the Rag.
Lehrer: And by the way, just for the record, now maybe you’ll have – a how much to enforce this decision to make now that this has gone public, but in Gothamist via the original publication in the West Side Rag letter from the Sanitation Department to a West Side resident, “litter baskets are intended for pedestrian litter, while canine waste maybe placed in litter – maybe placed in litter baskets that is not their primary purpose. Dog walkers should not be placing their canine waste on or in other resident’s receptacles. New York State public health law requires that each person that owns or controls a dog must remove any feces left by that dog on any sidewalk, etcetera, and dispose of it in a legal manner ultimately by carrying it away for disposal in a toilet or a place out with their own trash.” So there you go.
Mayor: You are very focused on this issue Brian. This is – obviously you have become an expert. It’s a – I did not know that. I mean, look, the thing is – we have to – we have to, I’m going to speak for I think a lot of New Yorkers, the worst place for it is on the sidewalk. So even though I do get the theory and I hope that people follow that guidance, in the end, the one thing I don’t want let them do is have their dog do their business on the sidewalk and leave it there for everyone else to step in. Like that’s the problem and so that’s why we need some kind of new enforcement that can make a real difference but you have educated I think a lot of us today on the nuances of the – the appropriate approach.
So there you have it — the mayor agrees that it would be nice if you took the poop home, though mostly he just wants you not to leave it on the sidewalk.
Also, the mayor is clearly tired of talking about dog poop.
Seriously – I am sick and tired of talking about dog poop too!!! If you own a dog or if you walk a dog…it’s your responsibility to pick up after your dog and put it into the nearest trashcan – end of story !!! Now let’s get on with our lives because that’s where this story ends – And I will continue putting my dogs poop into the nearest trashcan… public or private.
What ever happened to “curb your dog”? I have to zig zag while walking on the sidewalk so I don’t step in dog pee as well as dog doo.
Lehrer omitted the last part of that law.
“The feces may also be placed in a non-leaking sealed bag or container and deposited in a DSNY litter basket.”
So he’s spreading fake news. And DeB is all like “thanks Brian, I didn’t know that!”
Am truly baffled by the amount of dog poop especially over past few years – and the amount right in the middle of the sidewalk.
Clearly folks did not even try to curb their dogs…
Similarly folks are letting their dogs pee on buildings (not their own buildings), on stores, on bus shelters (inches from people waiting in the bus shelter), on schools, churches, synagogues, in Lincoln Center etc.
PS 191 and several nursery schools have put up signs asking people to not let their dogs pee on school buildings…
So this is where we are – schools need to put up signs..
Maybe the new suburban transplants don’t realize they are supposed to curb and pick up after their dogs?
We’ve been picking up de Blasio’s poop for almost 6 years. The least he could do is return the favor!
As someone that is now on my 4th Lab I ALWAYS pick up after him. Beside being the right thing to do I always feel that if I step in something at least its not my dogs. I get to work or an event and sure enough baggies in one pocket and cookies in another
The sad part about the law is the NYPD officer has to actually witness it to give a ticket. If there is a particular time and/or place were its is bad mention it at the next 24 meeting April 20 at 7pm They will try and be on the look out in that area
Re: “Mayor Sidesteps Dog Poop …”
NOT quite as good as the famed NY Post’s “Headless Body in Topless Bar”, but close!
A Messy West Side Story: It’s not only the poop!
Besides the mess from fewer corner garbage cans and the dog poop (see recent posting), no doubt all of us have seen an increasing amount of dog pee on the middle of sidewalks, high rise buildings, and crosswalks. Much of this is due to the ever increasing number of dogs that live in NYC. Statistics indicate that one in seven households in our city have at least one dog. Furthermore, the highest concentration of dogs live along the West Side. http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-york-citys-dog-population
Reminder: Curb Your Dog!
We are dog owners and find that it has taken some effort to reeducate our dog Molly and ourselves to head for the curb. We have been retraining her to perform all of her eliminations as close as possible to the curb or street. Despite occasional mishaps, we now try our best to avoid mid sidewalks, crosswalks, enclosed plantings and trees, as well as the sides of buildings.
If we can all remember this simple rule of curbing our dogs, we will have a much cleaner, healthier and more livable Upper West Side!
Herb and Karen Goodheart
The ONLY question here is why is DS removing litter baskets? We’ve all done the dog-poop issue to death, that really isn’t the issue, it’s the lack of litter baskets whereas before where on every street corner.
Put the damn litter baskets BACK!
At least we know that de Blasio has at least one quality fit for running for president.
The problem is, people never think this is them or applies to them. A dog should be peeing and pooping in the gutter, end of. They should not be peeing and pooping on the sidewalk, especially right in the middle! I’ve seen landmarked buildings destroyed on the ground level by uric acid. This is disrespectful and disgusting.
Who would be responsible for ticketing offenders in Central Park?
The issue there is multi-facted:
1) People who bag their dogs’ feces, but don’t put it in a receptacle; who are the people leaving bags of feces on park benches, 50 steps from a trash can? Can anyone explain this?
2) People who don’t bag their dogs’ feces at all;
3) People who don’t bag their dogs’ feces because they let their animals run off-leash.
That latter case being a separate problem. Why do so many people let their dogs run off-leash in Central Park? I see dogs running in front of runners, in front of cyclists, and the other day one almost ran out in front of a Park Conservancy vehicle.
I have seen aggressive off-leash dogs jump on leashed dogs, and three or four male dogs ‘wilding’ around a female dog, who was apparently in heat, with the dog owners gabbing away, 50 feet away, oblivious (or indifferent?) to their dogs’ behavior.
Everyone thinks their own dogs is not a problem, and is ‘under control’. But collectively, several dogs running around in a high-use area like the Bridle Path becomes an issue. It’s an issue for people who abide by the leash laws, who are trying to train their dog, or who have an unspayed female dog.
I have never seen so many self-absorbed people with dogs, talking/texting on their phones, while pushing an occupied baby carriage, and totally NOT attending to their canine charges. Is this just a New York thing? An Upper West Side thing? C’mon, people, BE RESPONSIBLE.
So again, the question: who is responsible for enforcing leash laws in Central Park, and why are they not doing it?
Maybe a good topic for coverage in the WSR would be an article on where and when dogs are allowed to be off-leash in Central Park, and where dogs are NEVER allowed to be off-leash.
De Blasio lets street people (or anyone, technically) jump subway turnstyles and relieve themselves in the streets and expressly refuses to enforce the laws against these acts. But he wants to ramp up enforcement on dogs? Complete insanity.
I think there’s a market for dog trainers. They train to do everything else train cats and dogs to use a toilet a whole new market opens trainers and adapters for toilet seats for your pet. You laugh and think I’m loony probably but serious look at all the things they train them to do. Bet me they could and make anyone with a dog get them trained and if not a fine. Win win 1no walking dog at potty time 2 no picking up poop 3 no pooping on street , sidewalk or others lawns . Trainers adapter designers and manufacturers make $.
Leaving Dog feces in a trash can is unsanitary.
Dog Owners must take the feces him and dispose of either by Toilet or wrapping the feces in a recyclable envelope prior to throwing away. Dog owner must begin to show some class for the first time.
blah blah blah
run on sentences, ones that go nowhere and say nothing. great job, mayor
It’s dumping it on the sidewalk, in or not in a bag, or near the curb or a tree, that irritates us.
My question is ; What idiot made the decision to remove
Trash cans from many streets? So what you get is either people placing the poop bags on the ground or walking extra blocks and over filling others. How stupid! More trash cans. Cameras to identify those that don’t pick up after their dogs followed by heavy penalties. And a little effort for these low lives that don’t pick up after their dogs. I have had dogs for 25 years. There was never an occasion where I didn’t pick up after my dog.
I watched an elderly man allow his dog to poop while they walked (yes, at the same time) and reminded him that there was a law about picking up after his dog. The man replied “mind your own M F-ing business.
The mayor may be tired of this, but for those of us who don’t have SUVs to travel in, and walk through block after block full of dog poop, this is an issue that must be addressed.
Why are New Yorkers encouraged to keep dogs in the first place? We are SO overpopulated. Instead of unconditional love, think self-esteem — feed a homeless person instead of a dog.
I had a man verbally attack me for putting my dogs poop that I picked up in his garbage can. Can you imagine? The police were called and I was right. The police officer told him if you do not want dog poop in your garbage can then keep the can in the building.
Brian, you read my mind!!!