Do you scoop your dog’s poop when you go for a walk on the Saucon Rail Trail in Hellertown? If not, the mayor is asking you to, for the benefit of everyone who uses the trail.
At a borough council meeting Monday, Hellertown mayor David Heintzelman voiced his frustration over the amount of dog waste he said is being left unscooped on the popular local pathway.
He noted that there are disposable waste bags in dispensers along the path as well as garbage cans, so dog walkers don’t have to bring bags with them from home or even carry the waste home with them.
“Let’s bear down on these people that decided not to pick up their (dog’s) waste,” said Heintzelman, who himself is a dog owner who walks the trail.
Trail rules are posted next to the Saucon Rail Trail in Water Street Park in Hellertown, and among them is a requirement to “keep dogs on a leash and remove all feces from (the) trail.”
Under a borough ordinance, anyone found guilty of failing to clean up after their dog on the trail is subject to a $100 to $300. The ordinance and penalty are advertised on an informational metal sign next to the bag dispenser along the trail in Water Street Park.
The 7.5 mile Saucon Rail Trail begins in Hellertown borough and ends in Coopersburg, passing through both Lower Saucon and Upper Saucon townships along the way.
All of the municipalities in which the trail is located have their own rules for visitors to it, however all require the scooping of canine fecal matter.
The trail is overseen by the members of a multi-municipal rail trail commission which meets monthly and includes representatives from all four municipalities.
When an extension through Upper Bucks County opens sometime later this year, trail users will be able to walk, bike or jog from Hellertown in the north all the way to Richland township–just north of Quakertown borough–in the south.