Is It Illegal to Let Your Dog Poop In Someone’s Yard?

Categorized as Misc
is it illegal to let your dog poop in someone's yard?

Although the law may vary from state to state, most states have a law that requires dog owners to pick up their dog’s poop or known as the “pooper scooper law.” This means, in most states, yes, it is illegal to let your dog poop in someone’s yard.

The law states that a person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat, or other animals must clean up or remove their pet waste on all private and public property. This includes neighbor’s yards, sidewalks, parks, school, and others.

Some cities like Bothell and Seattle even go a step further by requiring a pet owner to carry a dog poop bag around and not having the bag by itself is against the law.

For example, in Seattle, you will be fined $54 if you don’t carry a poop bag. Bear in mind that you can’t take a plastic bag out of garbage and use that. The Seattle Pooper Scooper Law doesn’t allow pet owners to do that.

Let’s examine this pooper scooper law for various states.


California does not have a statewide law about dog poop. According to the State of California’s Government Help office, it’s up to the individual cities, counties, or municipalities to establish the law.

As such, the application of the law may differ from one locale to another. Though people with disabilities are exempt from this law, many disabled people with assistance dogs are attentive about cleaning up after their pets.


It appears that Ohio has the same law as California. The state does not have a statewide pooper scooper law. It lets the cities make their own pooper scooper rules.

Based on our research, most cities in Ohio have ordinances that fine pet owners who don’t clean up after their dog on public or someone else’s property.

Responsible pet owners could face up to $100 in fines.

San Fransisco

On August 29, 1978, San Fransisco enacted its first pooper scoper ordinance. According to Sec. 40 of the city’s health code, dog owners are required to remove or clean up any feces left by their dog and dispose of it into a proper dog poop disposal container.

Sec.40c states even further that dog owners are responsible for carrying some form of container or instrument (poop bag) to remove the feces.

You could get fined a $320 for each mistake — failure to clean up and failure to carry a suitable container for the removal of any feces deposited by your dog.

San Diego

Referring to the San Diego County Code section 62.669, dog owners may not allow their dog defecate or urinate on anyone else’s property.

Section 62.670 says that dog owners are required to remove any feces and dispose into a proper receptacle.


Pleasanton has a pooper scooper law similar to San Fransisco’s. The law states that pet owners must pick up and dispose of their dog’s feces on public property and property of others.

Pet owners shall also have a suitable container or instrument for the picking and removal of their dog’s feces. A first offense could be fined at up to $100, a fourth and subsequent violation could be fined at up to $750.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles County’s pooper scooper law clearly says that “Animal defecation on public property or upon private property other than the owner’s property is prohibited.” Violations are fined at $500 per violation.

Orange County

Orange County Pooper Scooper Law says that dog owners “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.”

Long Beach

The City of Long Beach Municipal Code states that pet owners “shall not permit their animal to defecate on any public sidewalk, park, or building, or 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.”

Fees range from $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $500 for subsequent offenses.

List of Fines You’ll Pay for Pooper Scooper Law Violation in Some States.

Here’re fines in some states that you have to pay if you get caught leaving your dog’s poop in public places or private property:

  • New York City, New York- Fine: $250
  • San Francisco, California- Fine: $320
  • Los Angeles, California- Fine: $500
  • Washington, D.C- Fine: $150 – $2,000
  • Chicago, Illinois- Fine: $50 -$500
  • Houston, Texas- Fine: $75 – $500
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- Fine: $300 
  • Miami, Florida: Fine: $50

More Reasons to Scoop Your Dog Poop

Besides the law, here are other reasons why you want to scoop your dog poop:

  • Dog poop spreads disease. Contagious diseases like parvo, giardia, and distemper are transmittable via dog feces. Be responsible pet owners and keep your dog, as well as other dog owners, stay healthy.
  • It harms the environment. Dog feces left on the ground wash into the nearest waterway and eventually make its way to the ocean. In the ocean, dog poop increases levels of bacteria, which can harm marine life and their environment.
  • It keeps pets not banned from public places. An increasing number of parks, outdoor restaurants, and many public areas are becoming inaccessible to our furry friends, and it’s mostly because of a few people careless with pooper scooper laws. Don’t let the majority of the pet population suffer from your carelessness!
  • It’s unsightly. I hate it when I accidentally step into a fresh pile of dog poop. I’m sure you don’t like it too.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.