Dog owners living in or visiting Durham County are now responsible for collecting and properly disposing of Fido’s feces.
The Durham Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to add a provision to county regulations titled “Removal of Canine Waste.” The provision covers public property, public right-of-way or any private property without the property owner’s permission, county officials said in a release Tuesday.
In part, the section states “any person owning, harboring, walking, in possession of or in charge of a dog which defecates on public property, public park property, public right-of-way or any private property without the permission of the private property owner, shall remove all feces immediately after it is deposited by the dog.”
“All feces removed in accordance with this section shall be placed in a suitable bag or other container that closes and disposed of in a lawful manner,” it continues.
The new rule is effective immediately but the county is starting with an education period. Penalties will be assessed starting Sept. 14, when a first offense will set you back $50. That goes up to $100 for a second offense and $150 after that.
The Animal Services Division of the Sheriff’s Office will enforce the rule.
“The provision regarding pet waste aligns with Durham County’s desire to make the County a desirable place to live, work and thrive,” the release said.
Several North Carolina counties and municipalities, including Mecklenburg County, Raleigh and Apex, have similar “poop and scoop” rules.
The new rule does not apply to a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog accompanying a person with a disability.
For more information about Durham County Government’s Code of Ordinances regarding Animals, contact the Durham County Manager’s Office at 919-560-0000.