Tuesday, March 15, 2016


In most places, not picking up your dog's business after a walk will get you an eye roll or a dirty look. In Durham County now, it could make you a few hundred dollars poorer.

Monday night, Elois Johnson sat in the audience of the Durham County Board of Commissioners waiting to see a vote that is six years in the making for her. For six years, she's been pleading with city and county leaders to find a way to punish pet owners who don't clean up after their pets have relieved themselves.

For her, it's not just a matter of that annoying worry of watching where you step, it's about public health.

"It's contaminating our soil, our water, affecting our children and it's just making it unhealthy period," Johnson said.

Monday night, Durham commissioners agreed and with a unanimous vote, welcomed the new ordinance.

"Joy, relief, happiness," is how Johnson said she feels after finally seeing her hard work pay off.

No word yet on exactly how much a fine would be if you're caught without a bag and with a mess. But board members say it could range between $250 and $500.

That amount and how it will vary per violation will be worked out over the next six months as the board gives the public that much of a grace period before imposing any fines.


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