Balt. Co. cracks down on failure to scoop poop

Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 17:57:47-04

People in Parkville's Ridgeleigh community have no choice but to scoop up the poop in their yards or Baltimore County will issue them a citation.

The cost of the fines isn't sitting well with some members of that community.

"That's the most offensive part,” said Brenda Nelis, “It was $300, which I guess values my dog's feces at about $100 a dropping."

Nelis is one of an estimated 137 people ticketed for puppy piles and other violations in a single day this week in this neighborhood alone.

While that's more than $40,000 worth in fines, some in the neighborhood have little sympathy for the cost.

"When you go in these alleys, there's so much dog feces in the alley and that's gourmet treats for rats and we have rats so bad," Lynda Ritter said.

Michael Kaspar, the president of the Ridgeleigh Community Association, confirms the county recently sent exterminators through the neighborhood in an effort to rid it of rats, and code enforcement investigators always sweep in afterwards to make sure the humans are doing what they can to hold the rodents at bay.

"Do you have trash can lids? Are your trash cans secure? With holes? If they do, then you're out of compliance and if you're not picking up after your dog,” Kaspar said, “Some people said that if you had three pieces of feces or more, you got the fine. If not, they just moved on."

A county spokesperson said the county once issued correction notices to get residents to clean up their act, but those notices didn't work, so now the county has a zero tolerance policy.

For people like Brenda Nelis, who says she moved into the community and contributed something–spending big dollars rehabbing a distressed property–it feels more like a slap in the face.

"They feel it necessary to come on to my property while I'm not even at home and give us a citation in that extreme amount with no warning–it's just unconscionable in my opinion and we are upset about it and I know a lot of other neighbors feel exactly the same," she said.

Many of those cited say they plan to fight their fines at an upcoming administrative hearing.

Under that same county code, if they fail to bring their property under compliance, they could face additional fines of up to $500 per day.

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