Currently my town's regulations with regard to dog walking read thus: "A. No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer or allow such animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk upon any public property whatsoever or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of said property. "B. In the event that any dog shall, through inadvertence or otherwise, soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance contrary to the foregoing restrictions, the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of such dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog."
The A part of this municipal ordinance is basically saying that a person can't walk his or her dog. (The B part is reasonable.) People are breaking this every day.
I don't want to break the law every time I walk my dog. Yet I have to walk the dog, and I can't stop her from urinating or defecating while on a walk. We have sidewalks in my town. The dog is going only on the township property between the sidewalk and the street. I'm extremely conscientious and carry a fanny pack filled with plastic bags into which I scoop poop (and then I dispose of the poop according to the law).
Has anyone here heard of getting such an ordinance changed? Where do I begin?
Thanks for any help!
Anne
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Currently my town's regulations with regard to dog walking read thus: "A. No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge ... that a person can't walk his or her dog. (The B part is reasonable.) People are breaking this every day.

Not in my opinion, because a reasonable person couldn't possibly know if his dog is going to have to "go" during a walk.

If the intent of the law was really to prohibit the mere walking of a dog, there would be a law that said something like: "No person shall walk a dog.."
Again, I'm no lawyer (but I wanted to play one on TV once!), but both "A" and "B" parts ("B" pretty much mitigates against "A") are basically just lawyer-ese for: CLEAN UP YOUR DOG'S CRAP.
I don't want to break the law every time I walk my dog.

You're not breaking the law, IMO, but if it'll make you feel better, ask a lawyer.
Has anyone here heard of getting such an ordinance changed? Where do I begin?

First, ask (or call) your municipality's attorney. It won't cost you a dime. Each has at least one (if only for its own protection), e.g. City Attorney, County Attorney, State Attorney, etc. You might not need to change anything.
He'll likely be able to reassure you that it's okay to walk your dog, provided you clean up after it.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Currently my town's regulations with regard to dog walking read ... B part is reasonable.) People are breaking this every day.

Not in my opinion, because a reasonable person couldn't possibly know if his dog is going to have to "go" during a walk. First, ask (or call) your municipality's attorney.

Thanks for answering. A neighbor yells, every chance she gets, at people who walk dogs by her house, and today she informed me that I was breaking the law. I checked the code. She's obviously reading it as "No dogs allowed on the easement," because my dog neither urinated nor defecated in front of her house; the dog was just sniffing the (township's) tree. I am going to look into getting the code changed nevertheless. A responsible dog owner shouldn't have to be yelled at just for walking a dog in front of someone's house.

Anne
Not in my opinion, because a reasonable person couldn't possibly ... during a walk. First, ask (or call) your municipality's attorney.

Thanks for answering. A neighbor yells, every chance she gets, at people who walk dogs by her house, and today she informed me that I was breaking the law.

Is she a lawyer? If not, I'd ignore her and ask one. I.e., your City Attorney.
I checked the code. She's obviously reading it as "No dogs allowed on the easement,"

It doesn't really matter how she reads it. It only matters how the City Attorney, and the Magistrate, reads it.
because my dog neither urinated nor defecated in front of her house; the dog was just sniffing the (township's) tree.

But maybe the lady has had to endure many dog owners NOT cleaning up after their dogs?
I'm not aware of very many places where it's against the law to even walk your dog down the sidewalk. It's possible, of course, and that's why you need to talk to your City Attorney.
He's probably only a phone call away.
I am going to look into getting the code changed nevertheless. A responsible dog owner shouldn't have to be yelled at just for walking a dog in front of someone's house.

That would depend how the City Attorney, and the Magistrate, reads the law.
Not how you read it. Or how that lady reads it.
Call your City Attorney.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Again, I'm no lawyer (but I wanted to play one on TV once!), but both "A" and "B" parts ("B" pretty much mitigates against "A") are basically just lawyer-ese for: CLEAN UP YOUR DOG'S CRAP.

That's the way I read it, too.
"A " says "don't let your dog poop."
"B" says "but if your dog poops, clean it up."
The language in "B" "commit any nuisance" means that this infraction is different from something like littering.
This is a prime example of bad legal writing and reminds me of when my city was considering a ban on cell phones for automobile drivers. The language mentioned something about how a driver would be permitted to use a phone if the driver had both hands on the car. They forgot that they were supposed to use the word "wheel" and when I pointed it out to the Law Dept., it took them a few silly examples for them to understand what I was talking about.
But maybe the lady has had to endure many dog owners NOT cleaning up after their dogs?

People are pretty considerate in this area. In the 13 years I've lived here, I've found poops in front of my own house only once or twice. (If anything, this woman would have fewer people walking in front of her house; she's surely intimidated many of them into crossing the street to avoid her.)
This is a prime example of bad legal writing..

A reason to get the code changed, if it's not too difficult. I hate the idea that someone like this woman thinks she has the law behind her when she harasses people who are minding their own business and not harming anyone.
Anne
A reason to get the code changed, if it's not too difficult. I hate the idea that someone like this woman thinks she has the law behind her when she harasses people who are minding their own business and not harming anyone.

If you call the City Attorney, and he says it's okay to walk your dog there, provided you clean up after it, you can then feel free to not only walk your dog there, but actually yell back at the lady.

Unless, of course, there's a law against yelling at people?

Heh.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Again, I'm no lawyer (but I wanted to play one ... are basically just lawyer-ese for: CLEAN UP YOUR DOG'S CRAP.

That's the way I read it, too. "A " says "don't let your dog poop." "B" says "but if your ... to the Law Dept., it took them a few silly examples for them to understand what I was talking about.

Yeah, but which wheel? Emotion: smile

Handsome Jack Morrison
Thanks for answering. A neighbor yells, every chance she gets, at people who walk dogs by her house, and today ... A responsible dog owner shouldn't have to be yelled at just for walking a dog in front of someone's house.

Consider that she may be a nutcase (technical term).

One neighbor who lived across the street from us took exception to anyone walking in front of her house, with or without dog, and she would come out and yell at offenders, telling them to walk on the other side of the street. (There were no sidewalks, so they were walking in the road anyhow; the steep hill from the road up to her house precluded walking on her grass, even if anyone had been so inclined.)
I guess she thought that her property line extended to the middle of the road.
Or maybe your neighbor has just picked up so much dog crap that it's put her over the edge.
I suspect you have nothing to worry about as long as you clean up after your dog, but checking with the city attorney isn't a bad idea.

FurPaw

"None of us is as smart as all of us."
Oh yeah? None of us is as stupid as all of us, either.

To reply, unleash the dog.
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