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The Scoop on Poop Patrol

In December 2019 a local Pet Waste Social Marketing Action Plan was initiated with Skagit Conservation District (SCD), the City of Anacortes, City of Burlington, City of Mount Vernon, City of Sedro-Woolley, and Skagit County in an effort to reduce the pet waste impacts to our local waterways.

In 2020 “There is no Poop Fairy” and “We Scoop” Pledge efforts focused on fecal coliform reduction in urban and rural waterways by encouraging dog walkers to pick up after their pets when they are in public places.

There's no such thing as the poop fairy sign

The priority areas identified by Parks staff and the Port provided a starting place to initiate and test the regional program. Twelve Volunteers were recruited to patrol the priority areas and record the how many groups of people, how many dogs, and how many piles of poop were left behind.

map of Skagit county dog walking parks

This year patrols were sent out again to see if things had changed. Twelve volunteers patrolled 8 of the priority parks and recorded their findings.

graph of total pile left behind comparison

Over all, the total poop count appeared to drop by more than 50%, from 599 in 2020 to 265 in 2023. Though in looking back over the logs, it was apparent that some data was missing from our calculations as a result of variables that weren't taken into account. There was also concern that methods of calculation could have been inconsistently applied by some or all of the various volunteers. Moving forward, there is always room for improvement.

In conclusion, while there were ups and downs in the data, it seems that there was overall improvement and a lot of people are doing a good job of picking up after their pets, but we can do better.

man with pet waste bags at pet waste station

There's no such thing as the Poop Fairy.

It's up to us to Scoop it, Bag it, and put it in the Trash.

Spread the word, not the poop.

6 Pet Waste Myths you should know

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