By Karen Frantz
The winner of the Curb Your Dog campaign poster contest — an initiative from students at PS 150 that aims to educate dog owners about the importance of cleaning up their pets’ droppings — was announced at the school Tuesday.
The winning poster features an illustration of a dog balancing on two legs as it uses a pooper-scooper and reads, “Please clean up after your dog … or train your dog to scoop.”
The poster, designed by second-grader Sophia Aguirre, also alerts readers to the fact that picking up after their dogs is the law, with violators facing a maximum $250 fine.
Dozens of students at the school, at 40-01 43rd Ave. in Sunnyside, gathered in the PS 150 playground to learn the results, announced by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).
Van Bramer praised the students for starting the initiative and getting involved in making their community better.
“I know that our neighborhood is going to be cleaner because of these posters,” he said.
The other finalists, included fourth-graders Alex Cazan and Isabel Lourdes, first-grader Angelina Yegoryan and pre-kindergarten student Matthew Sebastian. Each received a Council citation for their work.
About 280 students entered the contest, and more than 600 people voted for the poster designs online.
“That reflects a great deal of interest in our community,” Van Bramer said.
Sophia said wining the contest felt good. Her work will now be featured on fliers that will be distributed to businesses across Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria and Maspeth.
Sophia does not own a dog, but said, “I want to get one for my eighth birthday.”
Several members of area civic groups turned out for the event. In addition, members of the Sunnyside United Dog Society also attended with their dogs in tow.
SUDS member Jeannette Remak said she was grateful to the students for the campaign.
“We know it’s going to make a difference,” she said.
She said in addition to the unsightliness of dog poop left on the street, it can cause a health hazard. She said her dog, Shanghai, contracted E. coli after encountering droppings.
“He just crashed,” she said, saying the dog almost died from the illness. “I almost lost him because of somebody’s negligence.”
As part of the Curb Your Dog initiative, SUDS members and other members of the community will go to Skillman Park Sunday to help clean up dog poop.
Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.