The Herald Bulletin

February 14, 2014

Editorial: Pet owners need to step up so others don't step in it

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Pet products, once a Chihuahua-sized endeavor for local business owners, have become a Mastiff-sized, multi-billion dollar industry.

It’s a reflection of the important role our furry friends have come to play in American family life. Because we can’t resist their floppy ears and cold noses, we plunk down millions of hard-earned dollars for an increasing number of products that protect them, clothe them and make it easier to clean up after them. Demand even forced the pooper-scooper to evolve from an unwieldy mini-shovel into brightly colored plastic bags tucked neatly into hydrant-shaped containers that attach right to a dog’s leash.

There are millions of products aimed at facilitating the care of your pet … and yet we still need an ordinance requiring owners to clean up after dogs and cats that do their business on sidewalks and lawns.

A proposed ordinance before the Anderson City Council would impose a fine of $25 on owners who fail to pick up their pets’ waste on public and private property. It’s intended to prevent the “creation of noxious and unsanitary nuisances” and promote a healthy environment. The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Ty Bibbs, D-at large, is similar to those in other Indiana cities and communities across the nation, but includes no details on how it will be enforced.

One would hope the residents of Anderson have enough common sense to know “poo detail” is a requirement of pet ownership. But we’ve all had the misfortune of finding evidence to the contrary as we walk on local sidewalks and through grassy sections of the parks.

So an ordinance it is.

Enforcement will be difficult, and ultimately, fines will likely be few. So, it’s up to our residents to keep the city beautiful … and not forget those little plastic bags as they walk out the door.

In summary It should be common sense to clean up after your pets. But we've all stepped in evidence to the contrary.