October 8, 2009

Dog Duty or Dog Doody?

Walking the dog is a chore most canine owners endure. Recently the exercise came under fire at the Memphis City Council meeting after complaints were aired about what was being left behind on those outings, particularly in front of businesses on the city square.

Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce president Chuck Kigar addressed the council with the Chamber’s concerns regarding unregulated animal waste.

Kigar informed the council that the merchant group has unanimously approved the filing of an official complaint with the city regarding ongoing problems with dog waste on sidewalks and public access areas to local businesses.

“I don’t want people to stop walking their dogs in front of our businesses,” Kigar said. “We would just like to encourage them to pick up after them.”

Mayor William Reckenberg agreed that it is a civic responsibility of animal owners to do the right thing and clean up messes they are currently leaving behind on private or public property.

Kigar asked the council to consider implementing some form of ordinance to regulate the issue.

“We already have an ordinance in place,” said Alderman James Parker. “It’s called littering.”

Police Chief John Myers indicated the department was aware of the issue and had addressed it with a number of animal owners.

He added that his officers could issue a littering citation if they observed an infraction or if a citizen was willing to file a complaint after witnessing an incident.

“That may ultimately be what it takes to make some of these folks aware it is a serious issue to property owners,” said Reckenberg.

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