Paris selectmen discuss posting ordinance to address dog feces concerns

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PARIS — Selectmen are contemplating posting the town’s revised dog control ordinance on signs in town to remind owners of their responsibility to clean up after their animals.

The debate about signage comes after selectmen received a letter from a concerned citizen and heard reports of a serious dog feces problem in the Paris Hill neighborhood.

According to the town’s ordinance, it is unlawful for dog owners “to fail to promptly remove and properly dispose of any feces left by the dog on any sidewalk, street, or publicly or privately owned property.” The ordinance does not apply to the dog’s owner property.

Dog owners who violate the ordinance face a fine of $50. Repeat offenders can face between $100 and $500 in fines, according to the ordinance.

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According to selectmen Chairman Bob Kirchherr, Anne Stanley, a Paris Hill resident, wrote to selectmen requesting that the provisions of the ordinance be posted publicly.

Although the problem is not confined to the Paris Hill neighborhood, resident Kathy Richardson said dog feces are particularly pronounced in the area.

“We have a million, zillion dogs up there and they poop everywhere, as a matter of fact,” Richardson told selectmen at a meeting last week. “Paris Hill is inundated with dog poop.”

Town Manager Amy Bernard suggested the town post a query on its Facebook page asking residents if it was a problem in their area. Kirchherr said the board could place some signs in public parks around town and could offer more signs for sale to residents who wanted them for their own property.

With the ground frozen, he doubted the board would be able to place signs for at least the next few months, Kirchherr said.

Brook Road resident Lawrence Reid said putting an abbreviated version of the ordinance on cards reminding owners to register their dogs could be effective, but questioned if speaking directly to neighbors about concerns might be a better strategy.

Kirchherr said selectmen will discuss draft designs for a sign and placement options at one of their scheduled meetings this month.

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