Denton requires dog owners to pick up after their pets when they are out and about. Denton's dog park is similar to most other dog parks in North Texas in requiring dog owners to scoop the poop, both inside Wiggly Field dog park and on the way back to the car.

To make it easy, parks staff installed several dispensers in and around the park with plastic bags designed for the job. Last year, the city purchased about 132,000 dog poop bags; 60,000 were used at Wiggly Field, city officials said.

But that doesn't mean everyone is doing their part.

Wiggly Field is part of Lake Forest Park, off Ryan Road in southern Denton. Park maintenance crews come through once a week to mow. But, according to Assistant Parks Director Laura Behrens, the parks department has received so many complaints lately that officials contracted with a service to pick up the poop. It costs $110 per week.

"Crews are scheduled to be on site every Wednesday," she said. Regular visitors report Wiggly Field's grounds have been much cleaner in the past week or so.

But that doesn't mean owners are going to get a free pass. Park users may see more reminders about their responsibility. And animal control officers will visit the park from time to time, Behrens said.

Those officers can write you a ticket under Denton Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6, Section 6-10, Defecation of dogs on public and private property.

Don't risk it. Scoop the poop.

- Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

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