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Here's the scoop
Pet waste must be disposed of properly because,
water quality isn’t the only thing that suffers — your health may be at risk, too

Pet waste can carry a host of diseases and parasites

which can easily be passed on to people and animals that come in contact with it. Pick it up as soon as practical.

Pet Waste can take over a year to decay.

When this waste ends up in water bodies, it decomposes, releasing nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae and weeds. This makes the water murky, green, smelly, and even unusable for swimming, boating, or fishing.


Parasite eggs in pet waste can live in soil for several years.

(Where they can continue to infect people and pets)


Scoop it, Bag it, and Put it in the Trash!

Biodegradable and compostable waste bags should not be used except in pet waste composter.

Home composting of pet waste may not kill all the pathogens and is not recommended for use on food crops.

 

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6 Pet Poop MYTHS

Myth: Dog poo is natural, so it’s ok to leave it and let it break down or use it as fertilizer.

Fact: Dog poo is raw sewage, and has a high concentration of parasites, bacteria and diseases.

Because dogs have a complex, meat-based diet, their poop is full of dangerous germs and parasites. It cannot be left to fertilize plants like cow or horse manure. Many of the bacteria that dog poo carries can survive on your lawn, in the park or by the trail for months. That means your dog’s unscooped poop can get people and other animals sick long after you’ve left it behind.

 

Myth: I shouldn’t use dog bags because plastic is bad for the environment.

Fact: Plastic dog bags are necessary for keeping dangerous bacteria out of the environment.

Nobody wants to use more plastic. But plastic dog bags, when tied up and thrown in the trash, keep dangerous bacteria out of the environment. This helps keep your pets, your family, and wildlife safe and healthy. Using bags is not ideal, but it’s the best solution we have to prevent the spread of disease from dog poop. Try reusing produce or bread bags to reduce your plastic use. (Just check for holes first!) Dog bags that are left on the side of the trail are litter, and make the poo problem worse. Always take the bag with you and dispose of it in the trash.

 

Myth: I don’t need to scoop poop in my own yard.

Fact: Scooping your yard protects your dog and your family from parasites and disease.

Dog poop in your yard can very quickly become dog poop on your shoes, on your dog’s paws, and in your house. There it can make you and your pet sick (Yes, even if it’s your pet’s poop!).  Parasites and bacteria in dog poop can linger in your yard for a long time, even when the poo “disappears” after a heavy rain. The only way to really make the danger of dog poop disappear is to scoop it, bag it and throw it in the trash.

 

Myth: Keeping my yard clean will only benefit me.

Fact: Keeping your yard clean protects people and animals downstream from you.

Poop in your yard doesn’t just affect you. That poop (and all its parasites and bacteria) ends up in local water ways. Rainwater picks up everything it touches and carries it wherever it flows— from ditches to streams, then the river, then eventually our marine waters. These are all places where people swim, boat, fish and harvest shellfish. By keeping your yard clean, you can protect people and pets miles downstream.

 

Myth: Dog poop doesn’t need to be managed like farm animal manure does.

Fact: Dog poop needs to be managed, too!

You have a plan to manage the manure in your pastures. Now it’s time to manage the dog poop in your yard! Dog poop has even more bacteria than horse poop—making it a lot more likely to get you or your animals sick. Scoop your yard at least once a week, and make sure that all that poop ends up in a bag and in the trash. Have a big yard? Train your dog to poop in one corner so it’s all in the same place. Or, make a schedule to scoop different sections of your yard throughout the week.

 

Myth: My outdoor cat’s poop doesn’t matter as much.

Fact: Cat poop carries all the same bacteria, parasites and diseases as dog poop.

Cat poop also carries a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can harm pregnant people and their babies. The parasite has also been shown to kill marine mammals. Cat poop and litter should be dealt with the same way as dog poop—tied up in a plastic bag and thrown away.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

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, such as parks, walking trails, apartment complexes, or neighborhoods. 

Now, it’s time to see if there was improvement.

In early 2020 These priority areas, identified by Parks staff and the Port, provided a starting place to initiate and test the regional program.  Northern State Recreation Area, Padilla Bay Shore Trail, Bakerview Park, Little Mountain, Skagit River Dike Trail, Port of Skagit Nature Trail, and Sharpe County Park were monitored at least once/month.

We are looking for volunteers to patrol these same sites in order to compare the data.

Volunteers will patrol their assigned area one or more times each month between April and Sept, filling in the designated data sheet.

The completed data sheet would be returned to the office at the end of Sept.

 The results will be compared to the 2020 data to see if behaviors have changed.

The goal is to inspire dog walkers to help keep public areas clean for all users,

to educate citizens about proper disposal methods and the impact of dog waste on water quality,

 and to inspire dog walkers to scoop the poop all the time/every time. 
Scoop it! Bag it! Put it in the Trash!

Scouting

For more info. or to volunteer, contact Carla@skagitcd.org 

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