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Augusta dog park closes because owners weren't picking up after pets

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- The only off-leash dog park in the City of Augusta is closed, not because of frigid temperatures or snow, but because people weren't picking up after their pets.

Mill Park Dog Park is locked up and there are no paw prints in the snow.

It's been two weeks since the city shut down the playground because dog feces were covering the ground.

It was everywhere, explained Renee Nelson, who usually takes her dog, Shadow, to the park every day.

Chair of the dog park committee Bill Dunn says the problem was so bad, it became a health hazard. That's when it was time to shut it down.

One dog stepped in it and had worms in between his paws and brought it home, Dunn explained. It wasnt good.

Free bags and conveniently located trash cans make it hard find a good excuse for not cleaning up.

If you dont want it in your backyard, dont put it in a public place, said Gail Dunn.

That message though, comes a little too late for Shadow and his buddy Bedouin, who are now kept on a leash, restricted to walks along the road, and turned away from their only bit of freedom in the city.

Once the snow melts the city will host a community cleanup day to reopen the park.

Dunn says offenders could face a fine from Police, but the trouble is catching them.

He says committee members are considering installing cameras to address this problem in the future.