If only dogs were cats, we wouldn't have to buy special plastic bags to pick up poop.
Teacup dogs can be taught to use a litter box. They benefit from the convenience because their bladders are small and the ability to go when they need to is both a plus for their masters and more comfortable for the dogs.
But for most of us, an indoor dog bathroom is not an option. Instead there are the early morning, midday and evening walks for "man's best friend."
Beverly Hills Municipal Code 5-2-105: Animal Defecation on Public and Certain Private Property, states that "it shall be unlawful for the owner or person having charge or control of any animal to permit such animal to defecate and to allow the feces to remain upon any public or private property not owned or possessed by the owner or person having the charge or control of such animal ... ”
In essence, it is the owner or handler’s responsibility to pick up after his or her pooch. Visually impaired persons are exempt.
How is this rule enforced?
I called the and learned that code enforcement officers, working out of City Hall, are the primary regulators. But unless the deed is witnessed, the guilty party cannot be cited after the fact.
Next I phoned Beverly Hills Code Enforcement Manager Nestor Otazu, who was pleased to be of service in educating me on the subject.
About three years ago the city kicked off the “It’s Your Doo-ty, Pick It Up” campaign. By means of outreach, Beverly Hills was committed to educating the public on why picking up after your four-legged companion is beneficial and respectful.
Why is it necessary to pick up after your pet?
The bad smell, difficulty scraping the soles of your shoes and the unsightliness of feces can turn a peaceful stroll into sidewalk hopscotch.
Dog feces contain bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause disease to humans and other animals.
Flies take to dog feces like bees take to honey. They also enjoy the taste of chicken off the barbecue and make their way through open windows and doors. These pesky insects carry disease-causing organisms from pet poop that are a threat to public health and the environment.
Runoff from storm drains when water has come into contact with feces finds its way into the ocean, further polluting the environment.
Through marketing and communication the city installs, upon request, “It’s Your Doo-ty, Pick It Up” signs. There is no fee for the signage. To maintain continuity without overkill, only one sign is permitted per home, unless you live on a corner plot, where two signs are permitted (one on each street-facing side of the house). They can be placed on the front lawn or on the patch of grass between the sidewalk and curb.
When the signs are disregarded by discourteous neighbors, Code Enforcement has several remedies for compliance.
When an irate resident notices the same owner using the same lawn continuously without cleaning up, a formal complaint can be made to Code Enforcement.
A warning is sent to the offender. The warning usually stops the violator out of embarrassment and the knowledge that someone is watching. If that does not work, an administrative fine is imposed. Through due process of law an appeal can be submitted if the wrongdoer thinks a mistake has been made.
Practice mindfulness and remember: It is your duty to pick up the doo-ty.
For further information on how to obtain a free dog defecation sign, visit the Beverly Hills website or stop into City Hall and you will be directed to the appropriate office.
And for the green-minded, on North Crescent Drive sells "BioBag," a biodegradable dog waste bag. Avoid using plastic grocery bags, which are are not biodegradable.