Improperly managed pet waste causes a variety of issues. Pollutants released by pet waste can be linked to water quality and health issues.
Pet waste left in yards, on streets, sidewalks, drive ways and parks does not magically disappear. Pet waste must be removed in order to prevent far reaching water quality contamination. Pet waste is one of the leading causes of bacteria in waterways like rivers and streams. Pet waste does not work as fertilizer for yards. Waste that is produced by cats and dogs, or carnivorous animals, does not release nutrients suitable for plant growth.
Pet waste contains a variety of bacteria and pathogens. Some of the bacteria can cause serious gastrointestinal infections, as well as infections of the ear, eye and throat in humans. If pet waste gets into waterways, these bacteria can cause closures of recreational areas due to health risks.
Possible conditions can include:
- Salmonellosis - a bacteria infection
- Toxocariasis - a roundworm infection
- Giardiasis - a protozoan parasite infection
- Fecal Coliform - bacteria in feces, indicates contamination
- E. coli - bacteria in feces, may cause disease
What Should a Pet Owner Do?
- Dispose of pet waste by bagging the waste and placing it in the trash
- Frequently pick up pet waste in your yard
- Keep a supply of plastic bags near your pet's leash and always take them with you when you walk your pet
What about ....
- Burying the pet waste - This is only an option as long as the hole is more than 7 inches deep and away from vegetable gardens and away from where children play
- Composting the pet waste - Most compost piles do not get hot enough to kill the organisms in dog poop. This is only ok if the compost is never used on a vegetable garden or where children play.
- Flushing the pet waste down the toilet to the sewer system or a septic tank - These systems are designed for human waste only. Septic systems are not equipped to handle the excessive pollutants from pet waste, especially cat litter.
Scoop it, Bag it, Trash it