I recently began writing weekly articles for a local paper and thought I would share some of them on my blog as well. When I post one of these articles you will see the “A version of this published in the Katy Trail Weekly” as I will probably add some pictures and change a bit of wording for this site. But many of the stories are ones I’d like to share on here as well. And the first one… dog poop! Do you live in a big city and pick up your dog poop?
You finally wrangled your dog and got the annoying harness on, leash attached, hat on your head, phone in your hand, and ready to get outside. Both you and your dog have pep in your step as you head down the sidewalk enjoying the summer weather. And then it happens.
Your dog starts to look for that spot as you dig through your pockets scrambling to find a poop bag you may have left behind. You secretly hope your dog just stops. Then as you realize you don’t have a bag to pick it up you look around for any people, hoping no one is anywhere to be found, that every window is empty.
We’ve all been there.
The City of Dallas Pooper Scooper ordinance requires pet owners to remove waste from any public or private property not owned by them. But we’ve all broken that rule, some more than others. Here’s the deal though, don’t do it often.
If you’re one that forgets the bag often or refuses to pick up the dog poo here’s why you should think twice. From the EPA:
- Pet waste carries bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can threaten the health of humans and wildlife.
- Decaying pet waste consumes oxygen and sometimes releases ammonia. When pet waste washes into water bodies this can be detrimental to aquatic life.
- Many pathogens found in animal waste can infect humans if ingested (salmonella, cryptosporidium, etc).
- A day’s worth of poop from one large dog can contain 7,800,000,000 fecal coliform bacteria.
Some cities, and even Dallas, have thought about creating a database of dog DNA to track the dog poop back to you. An apartment complex in Dallas, Llume on Cedar Springs, actually had a database for their tenants. A quick call to them discovered when they adopted the policy in 2012 it didn’t take long for tenants to shape up and pick up the waste. They stopped the policy shortly after implementation but it’s back on the table. With new tenants they are considering tracking dog DNA once again.
But how should we get rid of the dog toxic waste? Use a grocery store plastic bag to pick it up – they take over 1000 years to decompose, are derived from oil, and are made in China. Use a decomposable bag – they are expensive but maybe the cleanest quick solution. The best solution is to not bag the poop at all and put it in the ground or flush it down the toilet. But no one is carrying dog waste from the trail to the toilet. Not me.
Unfortunately your yard isn’t safe either. As of 2007, from the City of Dallas, there are 1.2 million registered dogs in North Texas, which produce about 450 tons of waste every day! The Food and Drug Administration estimate that the average dog produces about ¾ pound of waste everyday. That means you should clean up your yard to reduce the amount of waste that enters our water supply. The poop adds up.
Do the right thing and always pick up your dog waste. But don’t get mad at me when I forget a bag, and sneakily creep away like it never happened.
Beaker and I enjoying the Katy Trail in the big city.
Thanks to some business’ that provide my best furry friend with some much needed water on these hot walks through the city!
Pick up the dog poop!