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Prang Warns Dog Owners to Obey Leash and 'Pooper-Scooper' Laws

Violators face fines starting at $250.

Citing a "constant barrage" of complaints about off-leash dogs and canine fecal matter littering West Hollywood neighborhoods, Mayor Jeffrey Prang this week warned that the city will mount an offensive to curb the problem.

Fines range from $250 for the first offense, $450 for a second violation and $850 for three or more.

"If you are one of those people who walk your dog off-leash, if you're one of those people who let your dog mess on the neighborhood and don't clean up after him, you may be getting a citation," Prang said at the City Council meeting on Monday. "It's an important quality of life issue."

Officers from the West Hollywood Code Compliance Division as well as county Sheriff's deputies and Animal Control personnel will be on the lookout for dog owners who violate the city's ordinances requiring dogs to be on a leash at all times while in public and owners to pick up after their dogs.

"The city of West Hollywood may be the only city that provides doggie waste stations outside of public parks, extending that convenience into our neighborhoods," Prang wrote in his email newsletter. "And, yet there are still some dog guardians that will not pick up after their dogs."

Dogs in public parks except for Hart Off-Leash Dog Park must be leashed at all times.

"The leash law is intended to protect you and your dog from others that may not have the same gentle disposition," Prang wrote. "A leash allows dog guardians to keep their dogs safely away from one another in cases when they (the dogs) don't like one another. Dogs are frequently injured, often seriously, in such encounters."

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joninla December 08, 2012 at 03:58 AM
As a dog owner, I actually whole heartedly agree on both the leash law and poop-pick-up responsibiltiy for all dog owners. I find it strange (and a less effective message) to have this story come down as a personal mandate/statement by Prang rather than the City (as a whole, acting together for a common public interest/safety issue). Sounds like his own personal experiences are a large part of the reason for this statement at this point in time rather that a serious and thought through issue that the city is willing to help dog owners comply with both laws, rather than make threatening statements about fines.
GoodGriefCharlieBrown December 08, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Once again, Prang jumps on the personal publicity bandwagon for earth shattering causes, like gum on the sidewalks, Chinese menus on the porch, dog poop - Anything for the chance to appear relevant. Next cause - parking in loading zones on Sunday. True, the pooper scooper & leash laws should be enforced, but I bet they won't be. I think Prang simply once again came down on the side of an obvious issue that was already raised, and tried to own it. Not!
Rudolf Martin December 08, 2012 at 07:27 AM
The West Hollywood Code Compliance Division Officers as well as county Sheriff's deputies and Animal Control personnel are out in full force to protect our dogs from each other (and raking in the dough). The leash law is actually being enforced quite vigorously lately, sometimes in rather absurd cases (my dog), other times reasonably justified (other people's dogs). Sadly I have yet to hear about anyone getting a citation for not picking up their waste. Now that would be an aspect of the nanny-city I could get behind.
JESS Kalinowsky Registered Voter December 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM
This is almost laughable! Between dog owners either [a] not picking up poo after their dog OR WORSE [b] picking it up and then throwing down the plastic bag!!!! PLUS all the furniture discarded on the streets of West Hollywood is like living in a ghetto. Unfortunately there is LITTLE possibility of enforcement of either violation, because no one has the 'enforcement power'. The parking ticket folks do not, the Sheriff has very specialized departments, none of which oversee either of these two issues!
scott ferguson December 09, 2012 at 01:55 AM
In my neighborhood, off-leash walking has become epidemic. And I know where it comes from - a couple people did it, refused requests from other owners to desist (usually with a nasty response), then others saw it was being done, now do it more, so it has become a bigger problem. Also, those who don't use leashes are frequently the same scofflaws who don't pick up after them. And dogs off leash are far more vulnerable to cars backing out of blind driveways, which a lot of us do - they just aren't in the line of vision. However, none of this adds up to making living in WeHo liking being in a ghetto - that's a little extreme.
Ali December 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Scott, from other statements you have made on the Patch, I assume you live in an area of single family homes. Am I wrong? Well in the areas of all apartments, the issue of discarded furniture is an issue. It is everywhere, especially at the end of the month, when tenants move out of apartments. People don't call the bulk trash removal number. So it is an issue. I can only speak of my east side neighborhood. There are also a lot of off-leash walkers on my street and even if people pick up the poo, I find discarded poo bags on the lawn of the apartment building I live in.all the time. It is a city-wide problem. I say fine the hell out of them.
judson greene December 09, 2012 at 07:54 AM
One of the many reasons cameras are outside our home is because of the folks that stick their full poop bags into my hedges. We have 2 dogs and take flashlights at night to make sure we get it all. Lately I see folks taking their dogs onto my neighbors front lawns to poop and then throw it in those homeowners trash cans. I don't know where people learn this behaviour. I say things to people that don't pick up and often get the 4 letter words thrown at me. But, I get to follow them home so I know where to deposit their poop as loosely as I found it left behind. My fellow guardians, do the right thing. Respect the leash laws and clean up! I'm gonna bet you wouldn't want your pets to get hurt or sick.
joninla December 09, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Weather it's a personal thing/issue your neighbors may have with you, or just inconsiderate people, why not put out a small trash can where people can put their full poop bags. I know you shouldn't have to, but it sucks to live in your home and have to constantly check cameras for poop dropers. Try a friedly poop bin and maybe your neighbors will both use it and appreciate your making it easy for them to dispose of the poop they pick up. Just an idea.
me December 09, 2012 at 08:52 PM
let me get this straight....you have an issue with people actually picking up poop and putting it in someone elses trash can???....ABSURD!!!!...just be thankful they are picking it up at all!!!!!
me December 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
HAHAHAHAHA>>>>LOVE IT!!!!!!
Roxanne that on the Eastside December 09, 2012 at 08:54 PM
I am fed up with the amount of dog crap that is ALL over on the East side of West Hollywood! We have tons of Pet Stations over here & the people STILL don't get it! I admire Jeff Prang for sticking his neck out and warning people because someone has to do it! I was a resident of NYCity back in the 80's BEFORE they made it a law with a $1000.00 fine if you did not pick up after your dog!!!!! In comparison of today's standards, that would be equivalent to a $4000.00 Fine! Within 2 weeks of the law enforced back then, NY CITY streets & sidewalks miraculously cleaned up!! I am all for enforcement & fines because I saw first hand HOW it cleaned up NYcity! We NEED enforcement done here in West Hollywood!
RTL December 10, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Good points. The first offense should be $5000.00 for not cleaning up after one's dog. Dog waste belongs in the city provided trash bins or one's own garbage cans. If dog owners' can't understand this, then they don't deserve to own a dog. The parking meeter employees should have the right to enforce this with bonuses for finding such violators. And a can of mace in case the dog or dog owner attacks them after getting the ticket...as you can see this is an enforcement nightmare. Use common sense "dog people". This is a community. People don't bring their dogs in from other neighborhoods so it baffles me why someone destroys their own neighborhood in a relatively nice neighborhood like Weho. If you live here, respect your neighborhood and self or else you're basically pooing on yourself.
George December 11, 2012 at 08:07 AM
One little friendly looking small white dog bit my ankle. The bite drew blood with his sharp teeth and I needed to go get examined by a doctor. The dog owner always walks his dog off leash and says his dog is friendly and that I provoked him to bit me. He need picks up the dog poo and says it fertilizes the soil. VERY upsetting. For the life of me I do not understand people who have dogs in small apartment dwellings? Dogs needs yards to play. They are not suppose to be in confined areas. Cats yes, dogs no.
George December 11, 2012 at 08:10 AM
Nothing worse then stepping in dog waste as your walking on the sidewalk.
Deborah Gonçalves December 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Paul, I have two small dogs and live in an apartment. They get a lot of love, attention and daily walks. To say I shouldn't have dogs because I don't live in a large house with a yard is absurd. I would NEVER leave my dogs out in a yard unattended anyway.
Roxanne that on the Eastside December 13, 2012 at 01:52 AM
As a long time dog owner that trains dogs, it is always very surprising to me when people think it's OK for "their" dog to be off leash, yet want others to adhere to the leash laws.......unbelievable....really!
Roxanne that on the Eastside December 13, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I agree, fine the hell out of all of them like they did in NYC back in the 80's! In 2 weeks, everything changed for the better! It is amazing to me that it's taken WeHo this long to do something about this epidemic problem!
Thomas May 04, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Today I just witnessed an small Yorkie running across rush hour traffic in front of the PENINSULA hotel, the dog was hit by a car because the arrogant owner refused to put her dog on a leash. I saw the dog stuck under the car and completely freaked out! The dog then ran back to it's owner, The female owner said her dog is a "Service dog" and he doesn't need a leash, I told her she needed to take her dog to the emergence room in WEHO! I told her she was an ignorant bitch,, All dog must be on a leash in the city of Beverly Hills. The city needs to give citations to arrogant people who really don't care about the welfare of the dog! The leash law needs to enforced!
George Martin May 04, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I can't count the times an untrained, spoiled, obnoxious little white monster has run up to my dog and barked in her face. When my dog objects, she's the villain! It goes without saying that dog poop is unsanitary and attracts disease-carrying flies. I pick up poop because it's my neighborhood, too. But then I'm not one of those "special" people who doesn't have to follow rules like everyone else.
Deborah Gonçalves May 04, 2013 at 06:42 PM
How about calling the owners of these dogs the obnoxious monsters and not the dogs? It's the owners who should know better after all, the dogs are just being dogs. Oh, and I have two "little" dogs and both are well behaved.
George Martin May 04, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Maybe not you, Deb, but many people seems to think that because their dogs are small they don't need to be trained. They weren't born monsters, but with no training, no discipline, never being told "No!", instead being petted and therefore rewarded for unwanted behavior, that's what they become. Add in that they're off-leash and out of any control of their owners and you get an intolerable situation. If my larger dog acted the way these dogs do, barking, lunging, snarling and snapping, you'd be calling the cops.
scott ferguson May 04, 2013 at 07:52 PM
George - I have two small/midsized dogs, always leashed, and am likewise bothered by how some others who care for similar ones think the law doesn't apply to them. And those dogs are more vulnerable to attacks from even leashed larger dogs (who can react if they sense aggression) and much more likely to be hit by cars backing out of driveways. And they then encourage other owners to do the same, adding to the problem.
joninla May 04, 2013 at 09:08 PM
I understand how frustrated you are, and it seems over time it has really gotten to you. I am a total weho dog person. I have the sweetest dog in town, who also happens to be the largest, massive and scary as all heck to people who just see him. There is a big problem between "big dog owners" and "little dog owners". I doubt you really fell there is some epidemic of such great proportion that weho is no longer a super dog friendly city in general. Here's what I did. When I first got my sweet (scariest looking) dog, I realized the problem as the little dog owners would run before meeting us. I forcefully approached the regulars on my block, some were very stubborn, and introduced my dog to their yapping fluff things, told them "they don't have to like me or my dog, but YOU DON'T HAVE TO FEAR HIM OR WORRY HE IS ALWAYS ON LEASH AND I HAVE FULL CONTROL, THOUGH HE IS REALLY THE SWEETEST DOG." 7 YEARS NOW - PEOPLE COME AND GO AND REGULARLY I STILL DO THE FORCED INTROS. IT WORKS WELL (ooops sorry not yelling, i type in caps). As for dog poo. I have an iron clad policy NEVER WALK ON GRASS IN WEHO - EVER! i HAVE A FLASHLIGHT AT NIGHT AND IF MY DOG GOES ONTO GRASS AND I FOLLOW, I WILL NOT STEP UNLESS I CAN SEE THERE IS NO POO. sorry - just i am just caping out of habit - not angry or judging. :)
joninla May 04, 2013 at 09:13 PM
On the plus side, with WeHo super friendly dog environment, they are really really strict about enforcing NO DOG IN ANY BUSINESS THAT SELLS ANY FOOD OR CONSUMABLE PRODUCT. (except aid dogs). Most stores do adhere, even for the little yappers. It is a really health issue keeping all dogs out of human food chain. I also saw on amazon (or AS SEEN ON TV) a gun shaped device you point at a barking dog, and it emits an inaudable sound that makes dogs stop barking - or so they claim. But it might be worth a try.
joninla May 04, 2013 at 09:20 PM
To SMALL DOG OWNERS: here's my theory. Little yappers were bread to be "doorbells' before electricity was invented (like a retriever is hardwired to retrieve, a husky will run and pull to death because of their hard wiring). I have found, when a little yapper goes off toward me and my dog, the more conciencious the owner who quickly pulls back their yapper, the worse the situation. The little dog is hardwired to give notice. Quickly pulling the dog back tell the dog "GOOD WARNING - THAT WAS DANGER" and the cycle gets worse and worse inadvertantly. I have done this a thousand times. I make them stand with their yappers next to my dog, for her to ignore the yapping and if necessary pretend to have a friendly conversation with me. Within 20 second (usually less) the yapper stops. Get the message it was not danger, and after a couple more times, they stop yapping at my massive dog. I know my dog, and he likes little yappers and would never get upset. If your big dog isn't so easy going, I wouldn't try it. But otherwise it has worked great. People are generally good - and don't realize how their dogs annoy other people so much. Making friends (not good friends, but socially polite on the street) makes a friendly human and dog 1 block radius in my neighborhood. just a suggestion ...
joninla May 04, 2013 at 09:24 PM
here's my sweet baby .... fyi http://westhollywood.patch.com/articles/pet-spotlight-prancer-the-rescue-dog
Jerome Cleary May 04, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Scott Ferguson also known as Tom A. Bruggelmann sounds like a very responsible dog owner.
George May 05, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Sh, sh...... Scott is actually a sitting WH council member. He like to be undercover on here and say sweetsy, sweet things about how well they all are doing and tout what a wonderful place West Hollywood is. Oops, guess I blew his cover. No worries he has other profiles on here.
Deborah Gonçalves May 05, 2013 at 02:20 PM
I don't get the friction between big dog owners and small dog owners. They're all dogs, right? I love them all, big, small, young, old. I happen to have two relatively small dogs (both 15 lb. pomeranians, both rescues) and never shrink back from the big dogs. When I come upon an unfamiliar dog, I simply ask the owner if the dog is friendly and let them know that mine are. I haven't had an issue yet. As far as dogs being off leash, yes, the majority of the ones I come across are on the small side. All dogs should be on leash, no matter their size. I, incidentally, have a friend with a large dog who almost exclusively walks her dog off leash. The dog is lovely and well behaved but other people don't always know that so my friend occasionally gets the stink eye or people cross the street to avoid her. Even though she's the one breaking the law, she has the nerve to throw these people attitude. Ridiculous, to say the least.

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