Poop problem prompts Ocean Springs to ban pooches from bridge

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Dogs are no longer allowed on the Ocean Springs side of the new Biloxi Bay bridge.

The bridge walkway has been a popular spot for walkers and bicyclists since it opened last year.  It has also been a place for pet owners to walk their dogs.

But not any longer.

Apparently some irresponsible pet owners have ruined it for everyone else.

The board of aldermen's vote to ban dogs isn't aimed at the animals. It's the mess they leave behind that's the problem; a mess too often ignored by their owners.

"I have no problem with dogs on here. People just ought to clean up after them. If people cleaned up after them, I think the issue would go away. I've never had an issue with a dog here, other than stepping in their presents," said D'Iberville resident Ben Kluck.

"Clearly, no one on the board wanted to be the pooch scrooge. But it was a matter of public health and safety hazard. And we had to take some action," said Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran.

Gloria Bailey is pleased with the ban.  She and her visiting father had to dodge dog poop during their morning walk.

"The mayor, she told me. I put some doggie bags at the foot of the bridge for them to pick up the poo or whatever. They still don't do it, so I don't get it. They should ban it," said Bailey, "Some people step in it too."

Visitors from Colorado say they've seen the same problem where they live.  A few irresponsible pet owners give all a bad name.

"But I don't see anything wrong with walking your dog on the bridge. But it should have a leash and you need a doggie bag," said Jan from Colorado.

Mark Horn is a pet owner whose disappointed that a few have ruined it for everyone.

"You should be able to take your dogs up on the bridge and walk them. But again, apparently some people aren't using the plastic bags and containers they have to dispose of the dog's business," Horn said.

By the way, Ocean Springs already has a law requiring pet owners to clean-up after their animals.

And keep in mind, the dog ban applies only to the Ocean Springs side of the bridge walkway.

City of Biloxi Spokesman Vincent Creel told WLOX News, "Our dogs are well behaved and we have responsible pet owners."

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