Nfld. & Labrador

Holy crap! Piles of dog poop cause a stink for Clarenville man

In Clarenville, there's no law requiring you to pick up after your pooch. After Cory Chaulk complained about a neighbour's mess, that could change.

Town council coming up with new rules after Cory Chaulk complains about neighbour's mess in shared yard

(iStock/Getty Images)

Cory Chaulk is tired of his neighbour's crap — dog crap, to be precise.

The Clarenville man says the lawn he shares with his neighbour was covered in dog waste — enough, he estimated, to fill the bottom of a large garbage bag.

Cory Chaulk of Clarenville was forced to see this every time he looked out his front window. (Cory Chaulk)

"If you're pulling in my driveway and you get out of your vehicle to come into my house, this is the first thing you see," said Chaulk. 

It was a sight — and smell — that couldn't be avoided. But for Chaulk, it wasn't just an eyesore, but also a health and safety issue for his family.

His daughter, Katelyn, has autism and often is unsure about whether she should or shouldn't play with things. She also requires regular physical activity to maintain her mobility and muscle strength, but Chaulk said the feces has left her unable to play in her own front yard.

He asked several times for the mess to be cleaned up, but recognized that his neighbour — who requires in-home medical care — would have a hard time doing that, so he made a formal complaint to the town and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing.

Clarenville has no bylaws or regulations in place requiring animal owners to dispose of pet waste, but town officials agree something needs to be done and are now looking into developing new pet bylaws to help curb the problem.

If ticketing is what is required, maybe we will be doing that as well.- Frazer Russell

Mayor Frazer Russell says he fully supports new rules but there will be challenges.

"When you have regulations you also have the issue of enforcing them as well," said Russell.

Chaulk asked the town for help in getting his neighbour's dog waste cleaned up. (Cory Chaulk)

"That's not going to be an easy one to enforce. As far as having staff from the Town of Clarenville to go along the sidewalks and clean this up? That's not going to happen."

Clarenville isn't alone in its lack of pet regulation; many Newfoundland and Labrador communities simply follow provincial dog legislation passed in 1990. But while the provincial act covers areas like leashing and euthanization, there's no clear direction on how pet waste should be disposed of.

Russell says the town's chief administrative officer will be looking at what other towns are doing to address the problem.

"If ticketing is what is required, maybe we will be doing that as well."

Chaulk says the town was quick to act on his complaint and has removed the dog waste from the garden, so he's optimistic council will come up with an effective plan.

Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell says his town is actively working on creating bylaws to ensure pet owners clean up their pet's waste.

In the meantime, he offered this advice to pet owners:

"If you have a pet, clean it up. If you can't clean it up, maybe you should not have a pet."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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