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Ask NOW: What can be done about pet owners that don't clean up 'droppings'?

The city has an ordinance requiring pet owners to pick up after their animals.

The city has an ordinance requiring pet owners to pick up after their animals.

April 22, 2014

Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

What can be done about dog owners not cleaning up after their pets?

Issue: A resident of East Tosa who is a dog owner wants to know what can be done in response to other dog owners who leave "dog droppings" in their own yards and on the property of other residents.

"There are many families with young children in this area, and when they are out walking they have to avoid all these messes — even on the sidewalks," she wrote. "Is there anything the city can do so we citizens can enjoy a clean city?"

Status: James Beix, environmental health manager for the city's health department, said the city enforces cleanup through a three-stage process.

"When we get a complaint, we come out and inspect," Beix said. "If it is warranted, a written warning is sent directing the property owner to clean up the mess within 10 business days. We then inspect again and, if the property is not cleaned, then another written warning is sent."

Beix said property owners who do not comply potentially face fines beginning at $100 plus about $187 in court fees.

Property owners are required to rid their yard of dog waste even if they are not a dog owner.

"It is unfortunate, but you hope neighbors would be more considerate of other property," Beix said. "Of course, that's not always the case."

Submit your question by sending an email to news@cninow.com.

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