It's Your Doo-ty!
There is No Poop Fairy!
Your pets are your responsibility. This also means that what comes out of your pets is your responsibility. And yes, we are talking about poop.
There are steps we can take to protect our water from pollution all year round. Will you be the solution to stormwater pollution? Let's dive in!
💧What’s the big deal about pet waste? Isn’t it natural?
Pet Waste & Water Quality
Nothing ruins a stroll quite like stepping in dog poop. Left by those who fail to pick up after their pets, these unsightly piles foul more than just moods, shoes, and views. Pet waste is not a part of nature. Dog poop is full of nutrients from all that tasty kibble they eat. When it rains or snow melts, pet waste that is left on lawns, beaches, along trails, or sidewalks will flow down storm drains and into the nearest lake or stream.
Once in the water, pet waste releases those excessive nutrients, as well as disease causing pathogens (bacteria, parasites and viruses) that can make you very sick. A single pile of pet waste will continue to release nutrients every time it rains, until it’s all flushed away. In the summer, those nutrients can also fuel toxic algae blooms that harm wildlife and cause your favorite beaches to close. Picking up after your pet is more than just the right thing to do; it protects the environment and public health.
💧 What if it’s just ONE poop?
Think about how many people own dogs in your city or community. According to the U.S. Humane Society, 40% of United States households have at least 1 dog. If everyone figured that leaving one poop wouldn’t matter, we’d be in deep doo doo.
💧Do your DOO-ty
Picking up after your pet is the right thing to do for the health of your community, and the environment. In many places, it is also the lawful thing to do. Thankfully, cleaning up after your pet is easy! Bring a bag with you when you walk your pet, and dispose of the bagged pet waste in a trash bin. Some parks and trails even have pet waste stations with bags and bins built in! Most of us don't have dogs willing to use the indoor facilities, so pet owners need to clean up for them.
Pet waste should be picked up and either be:
- flushed down the toilet (be sure to pick out rocks and sticks first),
- put in the trash or,
- buried in your own yard. If you want to bury pet waste, make sure it is in a hole at least 6 inches deep, away from vegetable gardens and water sources, and in permeable soil (not clay).
- Do not add it to yard waste or food compost piles!
Remember, there is NO Poop Fairy!