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Midvale Journal

Doggy’s doo, owners don’t. Council discusses options for dog owners who don’t clean up

Apr 19, 2021 10:17AM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale dog poop or Midvale dog poop2: In Bingham Junction Park some dog waste piles have been left on the grass, rather than collected and disposed of by the dog owner. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

Dogs make messes, and sometimes owners don’t clean up those messes. 

“I’ve had a lot of complaints in and around Bingham Junction in the new apartment areas that just a lot of the common ground area is littered with the remnants of a dog being there,” Midvale City Councilmember Dustin Gettel said. 

“Enforcement continues to be a challenge,” Matt Dahl, assistant city manager, said. 

But it’s not just Midvale. “From what I gather this is becoming a more common issue across the county,” Dahl said. 

Why is this a growing problem? “We’re not sure if we’re dealing with more people staying home with COVID and are being bad dog owners or if we have more people home and are observing people being bad dog owners,” Dahl said. 

What can the city do about it?

“We don’t have a clear [enforcement] mechanism,” Dahl said. “Littering doesn't seem to include poo.

“We do have a nuisance animal provision where we can deal with things including poo but that have to identify the nuisance and the nuisance has a time frame to deal with it and so that becomes challenging if you’re dealing with an animal at a park or something.” 

Dog waste bags are available in the Midvale’s Main City Park and in Bingham Junction. “Those resources are available and the frustrating part is they are rarely emptied,” Glen Kennedy, public works director, said. 

“We don’t have to refill them as often as we should if people were using it.” 

“I think there needs to be an aggressive public education campaign,” Kennedy said. “County animal services was at the main city park enforcing leash laws, so if we could get them out there more often maybe just their presence will get people to pick up their (dog’s) poo.”

Residents have noticed the problem. Almost 30 residents responded on the Midvale Resident’s Facebook page that dog waste is a common problem on sidewalks and parks. 

“I notice dog feces on the sidewalks as I go down 700 East towards Fort Union,” Andrea Anderson said. “And I have to run over the messes in my power wheelchair.”

“Last time I visited Bingham Junction Park there were three different feces within 10 feet of the doggy bag station and garbage can,” Charlie Galaviz said.