Responsible pet ownership begins with clean-up
By Vanessa Bouffard-Fehl (courtesy of the Orange County FL website)
There is nothing more annoying than walking to your front yard to find a surprise left by one of the neighbor’s dogs. Whether you own a pet or not, it is frustrating to clean up after someone else’s. Being a responsible pet owner is much more than giving food, water and shelter to an animal. It involves regular visits to the veterinarian for medical care, and plenty of human contact for proper socialization. But most importantly, it is remembering that people are accountable for the actions of their pets.
Many of complaints received at Animal Services involve some type of nuisance. Whether it is excessive barking, destroying flowerbeds, chasing cars, or using a random yard as a bathroom, they are all violations of the Orange County Code and can result in citations issued to owners for not preventing these incidents. These situations can also lead to disputes among neighbors, leaving people frustrated and sometimes angry.
Here are some tips to help you be a better pet owner:
Always keep your dog on a leash when outside.
Carry a bag with you when you take your dog on a walk (plastic grocery bags work great).
Pick-up all waste including that in common grass areas.
Do not allow your dog to run loose; this can create a situation where your pet could injure someone.
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is not looking after their pet, these tips may help you approach the situation:
Speak to the pet owner about the situation. Sometimes people do not realize that their pet’s behavior is annoying to others or that they are violation of laws. Calm, open communication between neighbors can go a long way toward resolving these issues.
Contact Animal Services and place a report. If communicating with the pet owner has not been productive, you don’t know who owns the animal or the violation is of a more serious nature, call (407) 836-3111 or 311. Be prepared to provide the operator with your contact information, and any other information about the animal or pet owner.
Because so many citizens consider pets as members of their families, it is easy to overlook bothersome habits. By taking responsibility for the actions of our pets, we can help create a more respectful and safer community for everyone in Orange County.