I am committed to responsible pet ownership and environmental protection, and I believe that dog owners, if informed about the environmental consequences and given the opportunity, will pick up after their pets at home and away.
Many owners have the misconception that dog waste is benign and have no idea how toxic and damaging it is to the environment and their family’s health. I’ve seen a direct correlation between this misconception and the indifferent attitude toward pet waste pick up.
No one likes dog waste, but being a responsible dog owner means more than just making sure your dog is well fed and cared for. It means picking up dog waste in both public and private spaces. Pet waste that isn’t scooped contaminates our soil and our waterways.
Un-scooped waste washes off streets and lawns and runs into storm drains and the river.
It’s not only offensive, but poses a serious health risk, as it contains bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause a wide variety of illnesses. And, as pet waste decomposes in the waterways, it can kill fish and plant life.
Dog waste has become a growing problem in Portland, recognized as one of the most dog friendly cities in the nation. With an estimated dog population of almost 370,000, the Portland metro area produces 1.9 million pounds of waste weekly or 100.5 million pounds every year.
Volume alone isn’t the only problem; it’s that many dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs. Studies show that up to 47 percent of all owners rarely or never scoop their dog’s poop.
According to the EPA, dogs “… are significant contributors to source water contamination.” Studies also show that dogs may contribute as much as 20 percent of all fecal coliform bacteria in urban storm water.
- Pet waste isn’t just a nuisance; it’s a health hazard, to people, pets and waterways.
- Pet waste doesn’t decompose harmlessly into the soil; it contaminates the soil with bacteria, viruses and parasitic worm larva. This soil can remain infectious for up to 10 years and there is no practical method for removal once contaminated.
- Pet waste is not manure and composting doesn’t kill the illness-causing bacteria, viruses or parasitic worms.
To learn more, contact Alan Pietrovito at 503.701.7272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.