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New York's poop scoop law: Dogs, the dirt, and due process

By Michael Brandow

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Abstract

It's hard to imagine eight million people trying to avoid dog refuse on the streets of New York City on a daily basis. Likewise, it's harder not to imagine New Yorkers from all walks of life picking up after their canines. Using plastic bags or trendy, mechanized devices, pet owners have become a unified force in cleaning up the sidewalks of the Big Apple. Not long ago, picking up after your Poodle, Puli, or Pekinese was not a basic civic duty. Initially, many politicians thought the idea was absurd. Animal rights activists were unanimously opposed. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals condemned the proposed legislation because it would impose undue hardship on dog owners. New York's Poop Scoop Law chronicles the integration of dog owners, a much-maligned subculture, into mainstream society by tracing the history of the legislation that the York's City Council shelved twice before, then Mayor Ed Koch was forced to go to the state level for support. Brandow shows how a combination of science and politics, fact and fear, altruism and self-interest led to the adoption and enforcement of legislation that became a shining success.

Date 2008
Series Title New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond
Publisher Purdue University Press
Language English
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  1. Books
  2. Pet ownership