We all love our dogs and those of us without yards to let our best friends run around in take them for walks. Unfortunately there are those of us who think nothing of letting their dog leave a pile on someone's lawn without picking it up. I don't think they really understand the ramifications of leaving dog feces out in the open air. I'm not talking about the problem of me stepping in some smelly stuff when I'm cutting the grass and that I later have to wash out of all the grooves on the bottom of my sneakers but the problem of the health risks associated with animal feces. Here are a few little known facts to help those of you who walk but don't pick up.
“A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria” Dogs can be a significant host of giardia and salmonella. Cat feces can transmit a disease called toxoplasmosis.
“If concern for others isn't enough to get you to pick up after your dog, think of the potential impact it could have on your wallet. Around the world, many cities and towns are now imposing stiff fines for "pooper scooper" law violations. Fines range anywhere from $50 per offense to as high as $750 in London. And it's not just dog owners who wind up paying; the city of Paris pays $8.4 million each year to lease 70 motorized pooper scoopers (known as "caninettes") to vacuum dog waste from its streets and sidewalks and the bill is passed along to its taxpayers. How long before your town starts charging its citizens to clean up after its irresponsible dog owners?”
Each year, over 2 million tons of cat litter ends up in municipal solid waste landfills. Most of that litter, an estimated 100,000 truckloads per year, is made from non-biodegradable clay that never decomposes.
Pick up your pet's waste every single time. Animal waste contains disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals and nutrients, that when left on the ground, wash down storm drains and contaminate local waterways and beaches. There is a County ordinance, which bans dog owners from leaving animal waste on public or private property. If an owner disregards this law they may be fined.
Throw away pet waste in the garbage; never wash it out into the street or into the storm drain.
Take advantage of the complimentary bags offered in dispensers at local parks. Use them to dispose of your pet's waste.
Ensure you always have extra bags in your car so you are prepared when you travel with your dog.
Carry extra bags when walking your dog and make them available to other pet owners who are without.
Teach children how to properly clean up after a pet. Encourage them to throw used bags in the nearest trash receptacle.
Put a friendly message on the bulletin board at the local dog park to remind pet owners to clean up after their dogs.
Tell friends and neighbors about the ill effects of animal waste on the environment. Encourage them to clean up after pets.
If possible, bathe your pets indoors, using less toxic shampoos, or have your pet professionally groomed. Runoff from pet shampoos and soaps can be toxic and contribute to storm water pollution.
Dog waste is not a good fertilizer but is toxic to your lawn, causing burns and unsightly discoloring.More importantly, it has been estimated that a single gram of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even estimates that two or three days worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shellfishing. Dog feces are one of the most common carriers of the following diseases:
Children, puppies, and kittens are most susceptible to pet-borne illnesses because they have weaker immune systems than adults do.