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New York Dog Poop Law: What Happens If You Don’t Scoop Your Poop in NY

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman throwing dog poop

New York Dog Poop Law: What Happens If You Don’t Scoop Your Poop in NY

If you are a new dog owner in New York City or are thinking about visiting the Big Apple with your canine, it can be helpful to brush up on the local laws concerning animals so you don’t run into any unexpected trouble. One of the biggest things that you have to worry about is cleaning up after your pet. Unfortunately, you can expect a fine of up to $250 if you don’t scoop your dog’s poop.

Let’s look more in-depth at this law, discuss how and why it got started, and cover the tools that you will need to avoid getting fined when out for a walk with your pet.

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Dog Poop Law: New York State Public Health Law 1310

The New York State Public Health Law 1310 states that it shall be the duty of every dog owner to remove any of their pet’s feces from any public area or face a fine of up to $250.1 The only exceptions to this law are disabled people using a guide dog, a hearing dog, or a service dog.

Why Does This Law Exist?

Health Law 1310, or the Poop Scoop Law, got its start in 1971, after an influx of dogs into the city after World War II. Dog waste is not only unpleasant to look at, but it also contains harmful bacteria and pathogens that can contaminate water sources and pose health risks to other pets and humans, especially children who play in public areas. It also makes the city look dirty, and some argue that it even encourages crime.

Labrador retriever dog poops in the green park
Image Credit: SasaStock, Shutterstock

Who Enforces Public Health Law 1310?

Sanitation officers, dog enumerators, wardens, and anyone with the authority to issue a parking ticket can give you a ticket for not picking up your pet’s poop. Once you get the fine, you will need to contact the Environmental Control Board to pay or contest it.

Enforcement Challenges

Despite the clear rules and penalties, it can be challenging to remove all poop from public places due to the enormous number of dogs in the city. As a result, the law relies heavily on the honor system and the willingness of dog owners to adhere to the rules out of respect for their city and fellow citizens, which can work better in some areas than in others. For example, the Bronx gets a significant number of the city’s citations, with the number of citations in other neighborhoods being much lower.

Why Should I Comply With Public Health Law 1310?

Besides helping you avoid a potential fine of up to $250, cleaning up after your pet helps the city look nicer and reduces the risk of health hazards. It also helps show your respect for the community and encourages others to do the same.

woman removing poop from a meadow
Image Credit: S. Birkelbach, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Tools Do I Need to Clean Up After My Pet?

The things that you need to clean up after your pet are biodegradable doggie bags, which you can find anywhere you buy pet supplies. Just put one over your hand, grab the poop, and pull it inside out to remove your hand and trap the poop. You can then dispense the bags in appropriately marked containers around the city. Other tools that you might need include a pooper scooper and hand sanitizer.

Can I Compost Dog Poop?

You can compost dog poop as long as you don’t use the compost on food plants, as there is a high risk of pathogen transmission. Special composters designed for pet waste are available and can help safely break down the waste without harming the environment.

Can I Throw Dog Poop in the Trash?

Yes, you can throw dog poop in the trash as long as you bag it securely.

What Should I Do If I Run Out of Poop Bags While Walking My Dog?

If you run out of bags while walking your dog, you will need to mark the spot and return as soon as possible once you resupply.

man picking up dog poop
Image Credit: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

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If you don’t clean up after your dog while you are out walking in New York City, you might get issued a ticket that will require you to pay a fine of up to $250, according to the New York State Public Health Law 1310. This law came into effect as the number of city dogs began to increase dramatically after World War II, and it’s still in place today. However, it relies heavily on the honor system and the willingness of dog owners to keep their city clean. Picking up after your dog only requires inexpensive doggie bags, and doing so helps keep the city cleaner and reduces the risks that your dog’s poop will contaminate the air or water supply.

Featured Image Credit: Francesco83, Shutterstock

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