St. Louis, MO (KTVI) — Some dog owners in the City of St. Louis are finding out the hard way why refusing to pick up after their dogs can be a costly mistake.
"Since March 16, there have been about nine citations," said Partnership for Downtown St. Louis spokesperson Missy Kelley. "It is springtime and there are more people out walking their dogs, so this is an important time to remind the community that this is an important part of making this a better place to live."
The fine for violating the ordinance ranges from $150 to $500 depending on the judge.
Many dog owners in the loft district, including Paul Shaffer agree with the stepped up enforcement of the pet waste ordinance, which has been on the books for years.
"If you have a dog you should be responsible," Shaffer said. "Everyday I come out and on every block or two there is a mound and it is very irritating."
The city long ago has installed plastic bag dispensers throughout the residential part of downtown trying to get a hand on the problem, but some say they don`t see residents using them often enough.
"In downtown I see it all over the place randomly. When I walk through parking lots there will be landmines of it," said loft district resident Mandy Connor. "Pretty gross."
In the big picture, the 'number two' problem is not exactly the city`s number one problem, but at least there is a simple solution, if they can just get pet owners to pick up on it.
And in some ways, downtown boosters see the problem as a positive sign.
"n many ways this is a symptom of success, we have a 94 percent occupancy rate down here," said Kelley. "We love dogs, but it really makes the experience more pleasant if people are picking up after them."