Many buildings in the neighborhood allow pets, which makes for a tail-waggingly friendly environment in Kew Gardens, but it seems that owners do not always follow all the way through on the duties that come with owning a dog. Elsewhere in the five boroughs, not cleaning up after one's dog - and getting caught in the non-act - nets owners a $100 fine.In Kew Gardens, however, "if one were to walk the streets, they would find an abundance of pet waste on lawns and the strips of grass (or dirt) between the street and sidewalk. I know I'm not the only one who sees this, yet there doesn't seem to be any enforcement," Kew Gardens resident Todd Dubinsky wrote in an e-mail. "I have written several e-mails to the Department of Sanitation commissioner and have received no real response."Officials at the Sanitation Department could not be reached for comment.The doggie detritus detracts from the otherwise pleasant surroundings, pre-war buildings, older houses, and multiculturalism of the neighborhood, he said. And while manure from other animals has been used for centuries as fertilizer, the value of dog manure on the manicured lawns of Kew Gardens is debatable. If one were in pre-school, one might be tempted to refer to it as "poo" Gardens.Dubinsky has lived, and owned a dog, in the area for a year and a half and said he sometimes gets dirty looks when he walks his pet - even though he carries bags to dispose of the waste. Clearly, he is not the only one, then, to notice the problem.He has seen dog owners walk away from their pet's mess a few times, he said.City Councilwoman Melinda Katz's (D-Forest Hills) office said there has not been a rash of complaints about dirty streets so much as issues between neighbors."You feel uncomfortable saying something because you don't know if they speak English" and because confrontations between adults over doody can be uncomfortable in their own right, Dubinsky said.But in the interest of clean streets, whether it be by raising awareness among dog owners to pick up after their pets, by starting a petition or by improving enforcement of fines against owners who leave evidence at the scene, Dubinsky is speaking up now."If we have to have a few martyrs to get the message across, so be it," he said.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.
©2008 Community News Group
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