Bethel deals with problem of dog waste in public spaces

By Jordan Puckett
Sun staff

Bethel Village Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that will force dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Those found in violation of the new law will face up to six months imprisonment and a $500 fine. The decision came during the July 11 council meeting.

The ordinance states that “no person shall permit any dog to scratch, dig or defecate on any lawn, tree, shrub, plant, sidewalk, street, parking area, building or other public property. This section shall not apply to guide dogs under the control of a blind person.”

The problem was brought to council by resident Joyce Klette during the May council meeting. She said she has noticed a problem while walking in Burke Park with her grandchildren.

“I clean, on average, eight different piles,” Klette said.

She asked if council could post signs or give out fines to those who do not clean up after their dogs.

Mayor Ausman said he has also noticed a problem at the cemetery and the Grant Memorial Building.

The ordinance was originally discussed at the June council meeting. Mayor Alan Ausman said it has since been changed to exclude private property and cats.

“It’s something that may need to be tweaked or worked on over time to figure things out,” Mayor Ausman said. “It’s just a start.”

Mayor Ausman said signs will be posted in public places to remind residents to clean up after their pets. Bags will not be provided.

The ordinance passed during the meeting will take effect immediately.