MILLINOCKET, Maine — People who allow their dogs to defecate on town property do not have a friend in Eugene Conlogue.
Known for his genial nature and a dry, laid-back sense of humor, the town manager became animated at a Town Council meeting last week, warning residents to scoop the poop or else.
“We are going to summons you. You are not going to get a warning,” Conlogue said during the meeting on Thursday. “You can have it however you want, but I am tired of getting complaints about dog crap all over sidewalks in this town.”
“It’s a beautiful town, and we are not going to let you mess it up anymore,” Conlogue added.
Under town codes, failure to clean up after a dog carries a $50 fine for a first offense, with $100 fines for repeat offenders, Police Chief Don Bolduc said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no pet owners had been cited. Citations will be issued if police see offenses occurring or if residents report violators, Bolduc said. He encouraged residents to make reports, and to make them in as timely a manner as possible.
“Here is the problem,” Bolduc said Tuesday. “We have people complaining after the fact. If we don’t have a complainant and so many witnesses, it becomes a lot more difficult” for police to issue citations.
Officers watch for errant dog owners and dogs but have higher priorities, Bolduc said.
Police in other municipalities fine dog owners if they are walking their dog without bags or other poop-gathering equipment, an option police will consider pursuing by suggesting a town ordinance amendment if the problem persists, Bolduc said.