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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:08 AM Thu, Sept. 20th

My front yard is not your dog’s bathroom

Towns have different laws for handling potty complaints

Dom Bianco had … well, he had a pee problem. A woman who routinely walked her dog past his Prescott home also routinely allowed her dog to urinate on his front yard plants.

One day, Bianco’s wife confronted her, and Bianco said the woman told her, “Yeah, I’m going to let him do it and get over it.”

“It’s just inappropriate, it’s total nonsense,” he said. “What kind of manners is that? What kind of behavior is that? Is that what we expect of Americans today?”

Whether there’s recourse if you become frustrated with a dog’s bathroom habits depends largely on where you live.

Chino Valley Police Lt. Vince Schaan said, “Currently, there is not a town code for the actual urination or defecation by an animal anywhere (in town limits).”

He added that the town council was scheduled to take up the matter of proposed dog code changes, and those changes could make a difference.

For now, “if the dog is off its property and off-leash, then it is a crime for the dog to be at large,” Schaan said, and the police or animal control will come out. He advised the person who is calling to take a photo of the dog which will “allow us to prove the dog was out in case when we arrive, the dog is back home.”

Prescott Lead Police Officer David Fuller said the problem falls, not under the animal control portion of the Prescott City Code, but within the purview of a section called, “Utilities Division; Prohibited Acts.”

That section says, “It is unlawful for any person to deposit, or permit to be deposited, in an unsanitary manner upon public or private property within the City or in any area under the jurisdiction of the City, any human or animal excrement or other objectionable waste.”

Fuller said they get about a call a month on this problem, and “most of the time, this is handled through educating the people involved.”

He also recommended that someone who wants to report a violation “have some sort of video or photographs to prove the violation” before calling animal control.

Prescott Valley splits the difference, and makes only leaving solid waste a violation, but not urination, according to PV Animal Control Supervisor James Risinger.

“The few times (we) have received a complaint regarding animal urinating, Animal Control’s goal has been to help educate the animal owner on where it is more considerate for their animal to urinate,” Risinger said.

PVPD Sgt. Jason Kaufman said that, if there is a problem with dogs leaving solid waste, “take pictures or video and get a good description of the animal and the animal’s owner” before calling police to make a report.

Meanwhile, Bianco said the woman with the dog who was wetting their plants hasn’t been seen lately.

“If she does it again,” he said, “I’ll go file a complaint.”