VIDEO: Dog Poop Shaming on Providence’s East Side

Thursday, November 16, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

A still from the video of the East resident, looking to find out who left the dog poop.
While the City of Providence is dealing with a fatal police shooting, stabbings, and murders, one East Sider is concerned with a crime of personal nature -- dog walkers not picking up their pet's poop in front their property. 

A resident posting to the listserv moderated by Cheryl Simmons -- which contains reports of area crime from police logs, as well as matters of interest and concern to East Side residents -- expressed dismay that people were not picking up their poop in front of their half-million dollar house, and showed video footage of one particular offender -- asking for help. 

"We’ve had a recurrent problem of dogs pooping in front of our home, on Halsey Street. I bought and installed a security camera for this specific purpose. The footage attached was captured today. 

Perhaps you could share it with the community. Someone will recognize our neighbor and hopefully prompt him to come pick up the poop - it’s still on the sidewalk in front of our home... a good reminder for dog owners to pick the poop up!"

While the poster is anonymous, the footage was taken from a house last listed at $472,000 when it sold in 2009; the city just recently started its latest period of property revaluation. 

The fine for not picking up dog feces is $50 for the first offense, according to city ordinance (see below).

Providence is not alone; in October, the New York Times wrote about Lebanon addressing picking up poop in "A Legacy of Lebanon’s War: ‘Land Mines’ Left by Beirut’s Dogs."

Latest for Concerned East Siders

The half million dollar across the street, just blocks from Brown University and Benefit Street.
The posting marks the latest on the East Side where high property values often prompt outrage by residents when the quality of life is called in to question. 

Just blocks from the dog poop controversy, GoLocal broke the story in 2015 that neighbors of New England Patriot Danny Amendola were irate that a resident was able to put in a "non-historic" carport, in the historic area which would normally prohibit it.  

The Rhode Island Department of Health warns of leaving pet waste on the ground for environmental reasons; the City of Providence has an ordinance addressing pet removal specifically.

The Department of Health writes:

Pet waste left on the street or lawn does not just go away or fertilize the grass. Rain washes pet waste down storm drains and into waterways like rivers, bays, and beaches. This can make people sick from salmonella, E. coli, and other infections. 

Pet waste is very toxic—the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that waste produced by just 100 dogs in two or three days (or one weekend) can contain enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay to swimming and shellfishing. Pet waste also provides a nitrogen source for algae blooms, which deplete the water of oxygen and can make people and animals sick.

City Ordinance 

Sec. 4-27. - Canine waste and its removal.

(a)Duties to dispose. It shall be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any sidewalk, street or other public area. It shall further be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any private property neither owned nor occupied by said person.

The City of Providence has a specific pet waste ordinance.
(b)Duty to possess means of removal. No person who owns, possesses or controls such dog shall appear with such dog on any sidewalk, street, park or other public area without the means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Further more, no person who owns, possesses or controls such dog shall appear on any private property neither owned nor occupied by said person without the means of removal of any feces left by said dog.

(c)Method of removal and disposal. For the purpose of this regulation, the means of removal shall be any tool, implement or other device carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such feces, unexposed to said person or the public. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such feces to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of human feces, to a place specifically reserved for the disposal of canine feces, or to a place so designated as appropriate by the department of public works.

(d)Fines for violation. Violation of this regulation shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense, not exceeding seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for the second offense within a year, not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the third and any subsequent offenses within a year to be recovered by action of debt or by complaint or warrant, to use as such city council may prescribe.

(e)Exemption. This regulation shall not apply to a licensed dog accompanying any handicapped person who, by reason of his/her handicap, is physically unable to comply with the requirement of this section.

(f)Severability. The provisions of this section are severable and if any of the provisions of this section shall be held unconstitutional or in conflict with any other section of the City Charter or ordinances of the City of Providence or state law, then such section shall be void without affecting or impairing any of the remaining provisions.
 

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