California "does not have a statewide pooper scooper law," according to the State of California's Government Help office. It is the responsibility of individual cities, counties or municipalities to establish pooper scooper laws that may vary from one locale to another. Fines levied for violating pooper scooper laws are adjusted periodically along with other governmental penalty charges. Though exceptions exist for people with disabilities, many individuals with assistance dogs are vigilant about cleaning up after their dogs.
On August 29, 1978, less than a month after New York City enacted the country's original pooper scooper law, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed California's first pooper scooper ordinance.
According to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks department, it is illegal "for any person owning or having control or custody of any dog to permit the animal to defecate upon the public property of this City or upon the private property of another unless the person immediately remove the feces and properly dispose of it."
The San Francisco Health Code has a two-part ordinance--Pick It Up and Carry the Bag. Each carries a $320 fine for failure to pick up and failure to "carry a suitable container for the removal and disposal of dog feces."
The City of Pleasanton enforces what is commonly known in California as a pooper scooper law. Any person with a dog must remove feces left on any public place and dispose of them in a sanitary manner. Pleasanton's municipal code requires that anyone with a dog in a public place "shall have in their possession a device or equipment for the picking up and removal of animal feces."
Fees range from $100 for the first offense to $750 for a fourth and subsequent offenses.
Orange County's animal law states, "A person having custody of any dog shall not permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, any such dog to defecate or urinate upon any public area, private property, county park or beach. The person having custody of any dog shall immediately remove any feces deposited by such dog."
In San Diego, dogs are not allowed to defecate or urinate on the property of another. The owner is responsible for curbing the dog, removing any feces and discarding into to a proper receptacle, according to both city law and San Diego's County Code.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Environmental Programs Division developed a program to control pet waste. Los Angeles Municipal Code requires dog defecation to be immediately removed by the owner of the animal. Los Angeles County's pooper scooper law is listed under the county's nuisance ordinance and says, "Animal defecation on public property or upon private property other than the owner's property is prohibited."
Long Beach pet owners are responsible for the actions of their animals, must remove all fecal material left by their pets and must never place feces in a recycle bin, storm drain or any body of water. The City of Long Beach Municipal Code declares that no person owning or caring for an animal "shall permit such animal to defecate on any public sidewalk, park, or building, or on any private property without the consent of the owner of such private property, unless such person removes any such defecation to a proper trash receptacle." Violations are punishable by citation and fines of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $500 for subsequent violations.
- State of California: Government Help
- San Francisco Recreation and Parks: Dog Policy
- City of Pleasanton: Pooper Scooper Laws
- LA County: Veterinary Public Health
- City of Long Beach: Pet Defecation Brochure
- New York Times: Dog-Waste Management
- SFGate: Tails of the City
- Environmental Protection Agency: Pet Waste Management