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Seminole looks into rule to pick up after pets

Much as he likes dogs, Ted Milaszewski won't get one. He's too fussy about his lawn to have some four-legged pup doing its business on his trim, lush grass.

Problem is, Milaszewski keeps finding dog poop in his yard anyway. And the feces left behind by other people's dogs keep finding the bottom of his shoes.

Fed up with the sticky, stinky mess, Milaszewski wants the City Council to fine people who don't pick up after their pets.

"I like dogs," he said. "There's nothing wrong with dogs. But there's no need for a person walking a dog not to clean up after it."

Milaszewski, who lives on 66th Avenue N, asked the council Tuesday to make people carry plastic bags and pooper scoopers when they walk their dogs. Council members said they will look into his request and get back to him.

Several Pinellas County cities already have rules requiring people to whip out a shovel when their pets relieve themselves on public land or other people's property.

Seminole officials said they aren't sure what their laws require. One ordinance compels people to clean up after their pets in city parks, City Clerk Sandy Tulecki said.

But Tulecki, who started work earlier this month, doesn't know whether there is another law protecting the rest of the city. Neither do council members.

"I'll be investigating it," Tulecki said.

One thing is certain: No one is policing pet owners in Seminole.

Beth Lockwood, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Pinellas County, understands why Milaszewski is mad.

"It's not right to let your pet just go," Lockwood said. "If you own a pet, it's your responsibility to clean up after your pet."

Lockwood said she carries a plastic bag with her when she walks her dog. She recommends the bags newspapers are wrapped in, but said grocery bags work well, too.

Milaszewski, 69, uses a shovel to scoop the poop from his yard. The retired painter isn't sure whether dogs running with their owners on a nearby trail are messing up his lawn or whether neighborhood canines are the culprits. Not that it matters.

"I just get very upset that I should have to clean up after somebody else's dog," Milaszewski said. "It's sickening, really."

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