In response to increased complaints about dog poop-covered sidewalks in New York City, the Department of Sanitation is launching a public advertising campaign.
According to information from the Sanitation Department, between January 1 and April 8, the city’s 311 hotlines received 880 complaints about sidewalks covered with dog feces, a 31% increase from the 672 complaints received during the same period the previous year.
Jeffery LeFrancois, chairman of Manhattan’s Community Board 4, which includes Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, said: “You shouldn’t have to perform the sidewalk dance to worry about, you know, your new shoes stepping into a mound of your neighbor’s dog excrement.
The city’s 311 services received 2,100 complaints about dog dumps last year.
The city is on course to surpass that number this year, according to Department of Sanitation spokesman Josh Goodman, who expressed optimism that the city’s residents will be motivated by his agency’s new advertising campaign to stem the flow of the fecal rise.
According to the Sanitation Department, the campaign’s digital posters will appear on bus stops and LinkNYC kiosk screens throughout the five boroughs at least through the end of April. They are intended to educate New Yorkers that they are legally required to pick up after their furry friends.
One poster variation with the message “DON’T LEAVE IT ON THE SIDEWALK” has a picture of a dog urinating on the sidewalk next to a building.
According to Goodman, the campaign, which is part of Mayor Adams’ “We NYC” effort, is free for the city because a nearby creative agency created the ads without charging them anything.
City law allows for $250 fines for New Yorkers who don’t pick up after their pets, but this is rarely enforced.
Last year, only 18 of these tickets were issued, according to city records. There are no current intentions by the Sanitation Department to increase the severity of this law’s enforcement.