Councilman calling for more dog waste tickets

April 20, 2011 2:30:26 PM PDT
It's one of the grossest sights in New York: the little gifts dogs leave on the sidewalk.

Actually, dog owners are the culprits.

But now comes word that the city is giving owners fewer tickets for not picking up.

One city council member blames budget cuts.

The city says there's more compliance.

"That's a big mess all the time," said Paul Casvikes, of Pelham Bay.

Ask Paul Casvikes about his pet peeve and it's not so much "Bingo", but that which we can't "Name-o".

"I get mad, but I clean it up," Casvikes said. And he doesn't even own a dog.

We found a slalom course of fecal faux pas on the street.

The Sanitation Department does have a canine waste unit, and that unit will fine you $250 if they see you leaving behind a mess.

But, City Councilman James Vacca says he and his constituents are tired of dodging defecation.

"I would ask any New Yorker to tell me the last time they saw a sanitation agent addressing this problem, I think we have a situation where people know this law is not being enforced," Councilman Vacca said.

One pooch looked sheepish when Eyewitness News caught him, but his owner left the scene without cleaning up.

Sanitation says that's just it, it's hard to catch an owner in the act, or right after it.

This year, the canine waste unit has issued 250 tickets so far, that's down from 510 last year, 580 in 2009, and a high of 909 in 2008 when the fine went up from $100 to $250.

A Sanitation spokesman say fewer tickets mean more people are complying with the law.

He also says the waste unit deals with numerous quality of life issues, and fines people for everything from littering to dirty sidewalks.

"You've got to watch your step all the time," said Gonazalo Sanchez, a neighbor.

Councilman Vacca doesn't want New Yorkers to have to watch their step all the time.

He doesn't want to put sanitation in the dog house either.

"I want them to issue more summonses, yes, deploy more resources to the neighborhoods that tell you it's an issue," Councilman Vacca said.

One exasperated neighbor calls this particular street a toilet and as for the park at the end of it, neighbors liked the flowers.

It's the fertilizer they're not crazy about.