Watch Your Step: Haverhill Councilors Call on Dog Walkers to Cleanup After Their Pets

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

The Haverhill City Council says it is time for dog walkers to bring along their pooper scoopers.

Council President Melinda E. Barrett highlighted the problem this week, saying animal waste is particularly a problem along the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk and James Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail. She says it has gotten out of hand and an increase in fines or another remedy must be found. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien agreed, saying the city may have to step up monitoring.

“There are people who just can’t seem to clean up after their animals. I don’t know if we have cameras in that area. I don’t want it to get to that point, but maybe that’s what we are going to have to do because someone is not cleaning up after their pet,” she said.

Councilors offered various ideas for addressing the problem, ranging from increased patrols and enforcement to public service announcements.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua made the point that every park and recreational area in the city suffers from this issue.

“I hear this from anyone that’s using any one of the city parks, any walking area in the city. I hear it from everybody so, I think it is something that we need to take more aggressive action and more education and more enforcement,” he said.

The Council voted unanimously to send the issue to a subcommittee for review. They also agreed with a suggestion from Councilor Michael S. McGonagle that members keep doggy poo in mind when budget talks begin later this year.

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