Owning any pet is a big responsibility. Some of the biggest jobs that come with owning a pet are to provide them with food, water, and adequate shelter. You also need to factor in training them, giving them exercise, and protecting them from other animals and/or humans. Good dog owners take them for a walk at least once a day as long as the weather permits and they should always bring a poop bag with them.

Just like any other living thing, you never know when or where nature will call. Your 4 legged friend might have to leave a gift in someone else's yard. Any good person will pick this up and continue on their way. The question is, is it actually legal to let your dog poop in someone's yard in Iowa? Like most laws, it varies from city to city.

Unsplash - Richard Brutyo
Unsplash - Richard Brutyo

Animal Littering Law

According to Code Library Legal, the Animal Littering law in Ankeny reads as:

It is unlawful for the owner or responsible party to allow the animal to deposit feces on public or private property without the consent of the property owner. Animal feces deposited on public or private property shall be immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner.

In my opinion, there are a few ways you can interpret this. If you take the first sentence at face value, you need to ask permission for your animal to go to the bathroom pretty much everywhere, except your yard. Fair enough, I can understand why the law is in place and written like that but I also feel you can interpret this differently.

"As long as I pick it up, I'll be okay." It's one of those laws that if a police officer saw your dog going to the bathroom, would they really get out of their car and do anything about it? I doubt it. As long as you clean it up. Other than being a good person and neighbor, you should pick it up so it doesn't cost you. If you are caught not picking up your animal's poop, it can result in a fine.

For the most part, I'd like to think most people are understanding when it comes to animals. As long as you clean up the mess right after it's done, you'll be okay. Yes, you will run into some people who won't like this at all and will tell you to have your dog poop on the sidewalk and that is their right. Maybe they've had bad experiences in the past.

If you're taking your dog for a walk just make sure and bring a bag or two with you at all times and clean up any mess they make. At the end of the day, it's your responsibility.

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