Love Me, Love My Suitable Instrument

dogsign040910.jpg

Posted on a newish condo-type building on Alabama Street, near 20th, in the Mission. What got my attention is that this looks like a custom-made sign. I’m taken by the stylized figure of the doberman-style dog and the crouching human (is that pose just art, or is it part of the health code).

Section 40 of the San Francisco Health Code, which the sign cites, is here. And also here:

SEC. 40. DOG TO BE CONTROLLED SO AS NOT TO COMMIT NUISANCES.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control or custody of any dog to permit the animal to defecate upon the public property of this City or upon the private property of another unless the person immediately remove the feces and properly dispose of it; provided, however, that nothing herein contained authorizes such person to enter upon the private property of another without permission.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to walk a dog on public property of this City or upon the private property of another without carrying at all times a suitable container or other suitable instrument for the removal and disposal of dog feces.

(c) Visually handicapped persons who use Seeing Eye Guide Dogs are exempt from this law. (Amended by Ord. 420s78, App. 9/8/78)

What’s the penalty if you don’t pick up (or fail to carry “a suitable container”)?

SEC. 41.13. PENALTIES.

… Any person violating the provisions of Sections 40,41.11(c) and 41.12(a) of this Article shall be deemed to be guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be punished for the first offense by a fine not to exceed $10; for the second offense by a fine not to exceed $25; for a third and each additional offense by a fine not to exceed $50.

The requirements are pretty much the same under Berkeley’s Municipal Code (10.04.091): If you walk a dog, carry a “suitable instrument” for picking up dog leavings, and use it. The penalty is more expensive, though: $100 for a first offense, $200 for the second, $500 for the third.

All the dog-crap lawmaking has some effect: in Berkeley, most trash receptacles are full of “suitable instruments” (usually plastic newspaper bags) that are themselves full of dog waste. It’s still a little surprising to me how much people just leave, though.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Love Me, Love My Suitable Instrument

  1. It appears as though the human figure is ready and waiting for something to come out of the dog — so it doesn’t even hit the ground. LOL.

  2. Dan

    That is one attentive, law-abiding dog owner.

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