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According to Cerritos City Hall, it is the law to clean up after your pets, whether they are on sidewalks, private front yards, school fields or parks. Title 10 of the Los Angeles County Code also specifically prohibits a person from leaving pet waste on any public property or any private property.

Dog waste left on the street is not only obnoxious and gross; it can also be dangerous, making its way into our water supply if not disposed of correctly.  

If dog owners are blatantly leaving waste, what are some other solutions for handling the problem? Is there any percentage of the carefree dog owner population that’s truly ignorant of the law or is everyone who leaves his or her pooch’s poop left for others to pick up, just being a poor puppy parent?

Cerritos resident Marie O’Donnell, a loyal reader of the Los Cerritos Community News, recently contacted LCCN with a complaint regarding dog walkers who are not picking up after their dogs.

According to O’Donnell, there seems to be some inconsiderate dog walkers in her neighborhood. O’Donnell told HMG-LCCN that there are so many dog walkers on her street, that she has lost count. 

“We even have one dog walker that takes seven dogs on leashes three times a day, and they poop all over the place!”  

There is some question on how many dogs can be walked at one time, regardless O’Donnell was at her wit’s end.

“This is horrible, they walk and leave the waste all over, I have called and nothing has been done.”

For years there has been calls for a dog park in Cerritos. In 2015, the Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commission, on a 3-1-1 vote, did not recommend to City Council the construction of a dog park in Cerritos.

Voting not to recommend the park was Jack Reidy, James Fong Yee, and Kenneth Cha; voting yes was Cindy Yen Chen, with Brad Beach inexplicably ‘abstaining.’

The consensus not to recommend seemed to come from the fact that there are so many dog parks close to Cerritos’ borders and that, coupled with very little land available in the city that was not in close proximity to homes, sealed the fate of a dog park.

Two dog park studies have been conducted twice in the past 14 years, once in 1997 and again in 2007.

Since 2007, seven dog parks have been constructed in cities near Cerritos.

The cities that have constructed dog parks since 2007 include Downey, Fullerton, Buena Park, Southgate, Brea, Lakewood, and Bellflower.

Prior to 2007 the cities of Long Beach and Huntington Beach constructed dog parks in 1996 and 1999 respectively.

The city has likely seen many Cerritos dog owners travel to nearby dog parks and afterwards shop or eat in those cities, taking valuable tax dollars away from the Cerritos’ coffers.

Driving from Cerritos City Hall, the Bellis Dog Park in Buena Park is only 3 miles away, Lakewood’s Home Run Dog Park only 6 miles, the Flora Vista Park in Bellflower opening in February only 6.5 miles, and the David R. Gafin Dog Park in Downey and the Pooch Park in Fullerton are only 7 miles away.

All parks are city owned and operated and range from less than an acre in Buena Park to three acres in Long Beach. All have ample shopping and eateries in close proximity to the park.

The commission methodically looked at sites in the city and eliminated them using certain criteria.

No MTA land could be used because of the specific use designated for right-of-ways as outlined in their agreement with the city. Accordingly, the city would be prohibited from developing any MTA space for a dog park.

Additionally, the city of Cerritos leases land owned by Southern California Edison to provide various park facilities in the city limits. Under restrictions outlined in those agreements, the city cannot construct a permanent structure on Edison property.

But undeterred, Cerritos Recreation Services Superintendent Sherre Titus did send a request to SCE to use a portion of the leased land for dog park.

The request was denied by SCE.

In their letter to Ms. Titus SCE said, “after thorough consideration and review, SCE must deny this request for the proposed dog park. [The park] would compromise SCE’s capacity to safely perform operations and severely impact our ability to maintain the reliability of the electrical system.” After taking that land, all that remained was Heritage Park and Cerritos Park East.so the Commission voted not to recommend the dog park to the city council.

And the O’Donnell problem will continue.

If you see any violations, call the City’s Community Safety Division at (562) 916-1266.