Police on Monday fined a 33-year-old Pound Ridge, N.Y. woman for failing to pick up after her dog at Waveny.
The $136 ticket—$90 for violating a local ordinance and an additional $46 state processing fee—followed information reported to authorities by two regulars at the popular park who saw the woman pull into one of the parking lots in front of Waveny House and let her retriever out, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.
According to the report, the pair saw that the dog did its business straightaway and that the woman didn’t pick up after it, Halm said.
“They were just really offended,” Halm said of the observers.
It happened on Saturday, as temperatures soared into the 70s in New Canaan between unseasonable cold spells, and scores of park-goers headed outdoors to enjoy Waveny.
“These people approached her and said you realize you’re ruining this park for everyone, and the woman said her dog has colitis and it’s difficult and apologized and kept going,” Halm said.
They got the offender’s license plate information and supplied it to Halm, who contacted the woman and got the same story.
She violated section 108-8 of the Town Code: “The owners and/or keepers or any person having custody or control of any dog on any public street, public sidewalk, or public parking lot, or within any public park, public playground, or public school grounds shall promptly remove all feces left by the dog on such public areas and dispose of such feces in a sanitary manner.”
Halm said she encourages people who observe those violating the ordinance to get a license plate, “but we discourage confrontation.”
“People who don’t and won’t pick up have to be aware that there are people watching, they want the parks clean and they want it be right for everyone,” Halm said.
The ticketing comes as police increase patrols in town parks to help address the widely discussed problem of abandoned dog litter at places such as Irwin and Waveny.
At a meeting last week, the Parks & Recreation Commission raised the possibility of installing trail cameras to catch offending dog owners or banning the animals outright from public parks.