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September 8, 2012 By Steven E. Greer, MD
The Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) are spreading rumors that there are actually no rules prohibiting dogs from urinating on the sidewalk. This is false and there are health codes against such behavior by dog owners. The PEP are likely deploying a defensive PR strategy to justify their total inaction on the matter. It seems the PEP prefer to gang tackle and arrest people for having small dogs on the grass lawn, or for not having the proper leash, rather than exercise proper judgment and enforce laws that will keep our streets healthy and clean.
After a quick search with the help of our partners at Westlaw, the health code section relating to dangerous dogs and to curbing of dogs was found. It is Code 161, section .03
Health Code § 161.03 Control of dogs and other animals to prevent nuisance.
A person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat or other animal shall not permit the animal to commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.
Notes to § 161.03
This section is derived from S.C. § 227. Specific reference is made to cats as well as dogs. The reference to walls within premises is new. Under New York City Criminal Courts Act § 102c a magistrate is empowered to try and punish a violation of this section as an offense punishable by a fine of $25 or ten days imprisonment, or both.