OAKLAND — Dog owners are now required to pick up after their pets after the town council last week unanimously approved a dog waste amendment to its animal control ordinance.

The amendment requires dog owners to pick up their pet’s waste if it is left on any property in town, but does not apply to property owned exclusively by the dog owner. The penalty for violating the ordinance is $50 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. The town’s animal control ordinance covers barking dogs, but not animal waste.

The ordinance amendment was proposed earlier this year in response to complaints from residents about piles of feces on town property over the winter, particularly on a popular walking path between Hubbard and Water streets. There was limited public interest in the new ordinance, although Councilor Dana Wrigley has said that there was support in town for the regulation.

Waterville and Fairfield have similar ordinances regarding dog waste.

Town Manager Gary Bowman has said that it will be difficult for the police to enforce the new ordinance, but town councilors hope that having it on the books will help prevent people from leaving uncollected waste.

The town plans to spread the new rules by giving a copy of the town’s animal control ordinance to residents when they come into the town office for their annual dog license. The more people know about the rules, the more likely they will be to follow them, said Town Manager Gary Bowman on Monday.

“Voluntary compliance is always the easiest way,” he said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.