|Some obvious and not so obvious facts and general thoughts about dog poop and pet waste - its health and environmental impact. This page represents several authors thoughts & musings about dog poop as a modern day health hazard to humans as well as canine health. When found, I’ve included specific helpful tips on dog poop collection and removal, statistics on its public health impact to both people and pets alike, and an overall scope of the problem by several protection agency boards. As far as the material presented on this particular page, I want it to make it completely clear that 95% of the information presented here on human and canine health is not of my own research or pen. AS such, I encourage you to visit the respective links that I’ve provided so as to glean further insight into the entire story each respective author has contributed. It should be understood that the following news resources and articles are presented in completely random fashion. Lastly, although some of the dog poop concerns noted here are relative to Los Angeles, this is of course a worldwide challenge. After skimming through some of the content provided here, you may be wondering what is the fastest, easiest and most affordable means of taking care of all this toxic dog and cat poop production you have around your property. Consider contacting a professional pooper scooper service in your area to turn your lawn and garden into the clean and green, poop free zone your family has always wished for.
Dog Poop: random facts and stats
“Each week local authorities receive over 5,000 calls concerning dog fouling, and Britain's 6.2 million dogs produce 900 tons of waste every day*. Currently, Bracknell Forest Borough Council receives in excess of 100 calls a year complaining of dog fouling.”* Tidy Britain Group Stats. Read the full article here:
Study shows prevalence of “walking dogs without picking up the poop droppings in L.A. at more than 82,000 times EACH MONTH.” Read the 1997 Los Angeles study conducted by Pelegrin Research Group here:
LIPA USA Reports, “3.6 billion pounds of dog waste/year is produced in the United States alone, equaling 800 football fields, one foot high. This is a hidden health issue that no one wants to "touch" as approximately 50 million registered dogs in the United States produces more than 5,000 tons of waste daily.” Read the full article here:
“A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria” (Van Der Wel, B. 1995. Dog pollution. The Magazine of the Hydrological Society of South Australia 2(1).) Dogs can be a significant host of giardia and salmonella. (Lim and Olivieri, 1982). Further sourced from the University of Texas, 2001.
If interested in determining what some of your state’s pooper scooper laws may be, consider the following site. Professional pooper scooper services are also listed here:
“Caution: Pregnant, nursing, or immunosuppressed persons should use good cleanliness and safety practices when handling soiled litter or pet waste. Cat feces can transmit a disease called toxoplasmosis. Consult your physician for more information.”
“In large cities around the world there is an even bigger problem. In recent years, fines for not picking up after a pet dog have ranged from $100 in New York to $600 in Paris and $750 in London. Among the concerns: sprains or broken bones resulting from citizens slipping on the remains on sidewalks.” Full article here:
Moe and Rick Schober of http://canismax.angelcities.com/index.htm muse, “If concern for others isn't enough to get you to pick up after your dog, think of the potential impact it could have on your wallet. Around the world, many cities and towns are now imposing stiff fines for "pooper scooper" law violations. Fines range anywhere from $50 per offense to as high as $750 in London. And it's not just dog owners who wind up paying; the city of Paris pays $8.4 million each year to lease 70 motorized pooper scoopers (known as "caninettes") to vacuum dog waste from its streets and sidewalks and the bill is passed along to its taxpayers. How long before your town starts charging its citizens to clean up after its irresponsible dog owners?” Read the full article here:
View a funny picture with a serious message about dog poop here:
The advertisement states verbatim, ”Did You Drop Something? Dog poop. It’s a serious health problem. Why? Because it contains disease-carrying bacteria that can make people sick. And because there are 3 million dog owners in LA. Do the math. Then do this. Pick up after your pooch. Remind your neighbors to pick up after theirs. Good manners, great health policy. Want more tips? Call 1-888-CLEAN-LA today.”
Some of the possible ways a dog or cat can obtain various different parasities, viruses and stages of bacteria from their own poop include: rolling in their feces, pawing at it (contraction transdermally), and in rare instances even eating it-coprophagy (http://www.maltesemagic.homestead.com/S1.html). It doesn’t take a mental giant to see the correlation between contact with dog poop, as well as cat litter, and potential health compromises. Peteducation.com has authored an exceptional website where you can read about several of the “microbial monsters” that threaten animal & people alike including: Parvo Virus, Trichinosis, Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms, Giardia and Coccidia. Read about the Corona Virus here:
“On his last count, he tallied 1,494 mounds [dog poop] in a one-mile stretch, compared with 708 in December 2000.” This is not only disgusting, but will without doubt catch up with us in time in the form of unexpected health related maladies and unexplained conditions. Read this incredibly “off the wall” article here:
Each year, over 2 million tons of cat litter ends up in municipal solid waste landfills. Most of that litter, an estimated 100,000 truckloads per year, is made from non-biodegradable clay that never decomposes. (Judd Alexander, In Defense of Garbage, Praeger 1993).
How big is the storm water pollution problem in Los Angeles county?
The State Water Resources Control Board, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency enumerates its prevalence. Read the full article here: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/erasethewaste/swpollution.html#effects. The following represents a concise synopsis of the study:
“With nearly 10 million people living in Los Angeles County, each resident's contribution to storm water pollution adds up quickly to create a serious public health situation. In a 1997 study conducted by Pelegrin Research Group, an estimate of the number of times per month that Los Angeles County residents engage in polluting activities was established, known as pollution volumetrics. According to an updated 2001 study, it s conservatively estimated that each month in LA County, residents contribute to storm water pollution by:
Walking a dog without picking up the droppings more than 82,000 times
Dropping cigarette butts on the ground nearly 915,000 times
Dropping litter on the ground or out a car window more than 830,000 times
Allowing paper or trash to blow into the street more than 800,000 times
Throwing something in the gutter or down a storm drain nearly 280,000 times
Emptying a car ashtray into the street more than 40,000 times
Hosing leaves or dirt off a driveway or sidewalk into the street nearly 420,000 times
Washing off paint brushes under an outdoor faucet more than 130,000 times
Spraying the garden or lawn with pesticide more than 210,000 times
“Also, in Los Angeles County, approximately 100 million gallons of contaminated water and debris drain through the storm drain system each dry day. That would fill the Rose Bowl 1.2 times. (On rainy days the daily flow can increase to 10 billion gallons per day).”
The following illustrated link presents the very real concern that DOG POOP AND PET WASTE presents to human and canine health.
Pet tips for pooper scoopers taking care of their pets waste
Here are some tips on dog poop and its proper disposal to reduce storm water pollution in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas presented by The State Water Resources Control Board, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Read the full article here:
Throw away pet waste in the garbage; never wash it out into the street or into the storm drain.
||Pick up your pet's waste every single time. Animal waste contains disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals and nutrients, that when left on the ground, wash down storm drains and contaminate local waterways and beaches. There is a County ordinance, which bans dog owners from leaving animal waste on public or private property. If an owner disregards this law they may be fined.
Take advantage of the complimentary bags offered in dispensers at local parks. Use them to dispose of your pet's waste.
Ensure you always have extra bags in your car so you are prepared when you travel with your dog.
Carry extra bags when walking your dog and make them available to other pet owners who are without.
Teach children how to properly clean up after a pet. Encourage them to throw used bags in the nearest trash receptacle.
Put a friendly message on the bulletin board at the local dog park to remind pet owners to clean up after their dogs.
Tell friends and neighbors about the ill effects of animal waste on the environment. Encourage them to clean up after pets.
||If possible, bathe your pets indoors, using less toxic shampoos, or have your pet professionally groomed. Runoff from pet shampoos and soaps can be toxic and contribute to storm water pollution.
10 reasons to be a pooper-scooper
For more information on pollution prevention, visit DCR's website (the source of this information):
Stormwater carries pet waste and other pollutants directly into waterways.
Animal waste adds nitrogen to the H2O. Excess N depletes the O2 in H20 necessary for beneficial underwater wildlife.
Animal waste may contain harmful organisms that can be transmitted to humans & animals by contaminated H2O.
Worms deposited by infected animals can live in soil for long periods and be transmitted to other animals & humans.
It's the law! Many cities require picking up after pets. Cleaning up after your pet is always the right thing to do.
A growing number of RESPONSIBLE pet owners may encourage hotels to accept pets when traveling.
No one likes to step in pet waste and spread it into homes, cars and businesses.
Scooping on a daily basis and applying lime will help prevent odors.
It's easy to clean up by carrying plastic baggies and paper towels in your pocket. Later disposing of responsibly.
Your neighbors will appreciate your good manners.
Matthew Osborn’s comments about dogs and poop
Here’s what Matthew Osborn says on page 65 of his popular book, The Professional Pooper Scooper: How to Start Your Own Low-cost, High Profit Dog Waste Removal Service. But fist, a little credit where credit is due. A man whose name has almost become synonymous with the term “pooper scooper”, Matthew Osborn has arguably contributed more time and effort to heighten public awareness for the dog waste removal industry than any other single person to date. Matthew Osborn was also the original founder of Pet Butler Dog Waste Removal Service. You may purchase his book at Pooperscooper.com.
Mr. Osborn states, “Discussing these health signs to be observed in dog stool might be disgusting, and of course it's certainly not suitable material for general conversation. But it is a vital importance to doing your best work for your customers.
“Look something like rubber bands in the dog waste. Of course, sometimes dogs actually do eat and subsequently eliminate rubber bands, so be sure to notice the difference. Look closely if you have to. If you find one or more roundworms in the dog's feces, whether the worms are still alive or dead, you will need to notify the animal’s owner. Sometimes a worm treatment will result in elimination of several dead roundworms but it's still a good idea to check with the dog-owner just to make sure that she knows what's happening.”
“In dogs may sometimes be detected by observing segments of the worms or the parasites eggs, resembling grains of brown rice, in the dog waste. Especially warm weather, you will very frequently see small, white, fat, rice sized creatures in the waste you cleanup. These are not tapeworms eggs; they are the larvae of flies (maggots) that hatch from eggs laid in the waste after it is eliminated. Newly eliminated, live tapeworms segments can be white, fat, and wiggly. To tell them apart from maggots you can look closely in see that they are carrot-shaped.”
Blood in the Stool
“Can be an indication of a very serious health problem. If you find blood in a dog-as waste, notify the owner asap in order that a veterinarian may be consulted right away. Be sure to notice the color of the blood: red blood or dark, nearly black blood in the stool indicate problems in different parts of the digestive tract.” As noted, the reader can see that the author briefly discusses canine health as well.
Some of the following are online articles which have been reprinted here
The Poop Butler have reproduced a couple of articles originally printed in USA Today which serves up some pretty daunting numbers with respect to just how environmentally unsafe dog poop waste really is. My hat is off to Traci Watson for acknowledging the positive change and immediate impact my California pooper scooper colleague Craig Stern has contributed to wrangling the dog waste problem in Ca.
Dog Waste Poses Threat To Water
By Traci Watson, USA TODAY
June 6th, 2002
“For as long as the dog has been man's best friend, dog waste has posed a menace to man's nose and foot. Now science has revealed a more unsavory truth: It's an environmental pollutant.
In the mid-1990s, scientists perfected methods for tracking the origin of nasty bacteria in streams and seawater. From Clearwater, Fla., to Arlington, Va., to Boise the trail has led straight to the hunched-up dog - and to owners who don't pick up after their pets.
At some beaches, dogs help raise bacteria levels so high that visitors must stay out of the water. Goaded by such studies, some cities have directed as much as $10,000 in the last few years to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets. A few municipalities have started issuing citations to those who ignore pet clean-up ordinances.
Many dog lovers are in denial about their pooches' leavings. But researchers have named the idea that areas used by dogs pump more bacteria into waterways - the "Fido hypothesis."
Dogs are only one of many fixtures of suburban America that add to water pollution. lawn fertilizers, rinse water from driveways and motor oil commonly end up in streams and lakes.
But unlike those sources, dogs generate disease-causing bacteria that can make people sick. Studies done in the last few years put dogs third or fourth on the list of contributors to bacteria in contaminated waters. "Dogs are one of our usual suspects," says Valerie Harwood, a microbiologist at the University of South Florida. "At certain sites, we find their effect to be significant."
It doesn't take a Ph.D. to figure out that dog do is nasty. But it took science to determine how nasty it is.
From mutt to blue-blooded champion, all dogs harbor so-called coliform bacteria, which live in the gut. The group includes E. Coli, a bacterium that can cause disease, and fecal coliform bacteria, which spread through feces. Dogs also carry salmonella and giardia. Environmental officials use measurements of some of these bacteria as barometers of how much fecal matter has contaminated a body of water.
This wouldn't matter if pet dogs were as rare as pet chinchillas. But four in 10 U.S. households include at least one dog, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. The association's statistics also show that Americans owned 54.6 million dogs in 1996 and 68 million dogs in 2000. Of that total, 45% were "large" dogs - 40 pounds or more.
Those numbers add up to a lot of kibble. That wouldn't matter if all dog owners also owned a pooper-scooper. But several studies have found that roughly 40% of Americans don't pick up their dogs' feces (women are more likely to do so than men).”
New analysis provides answers
“The environmental impact of dog waste went unrecognized for decades. Then scientists developed lab techniques to determine the origin of fecal bacteria contaminating water. One method is a variant of DNA fingerprinting. Another method looks at the antibiotic resistance of microbes from different species.
Scientists caution that the methods are still new. They are able to distinguish between major and minor sources of pollution, but they can't say with precision whether dogs contribute 20% or 30% of the pollution in a stream. "There's inherently some error," says Don Stoeckel, a microbiologist for the Ohio district of the U.S. Geological Survey who's studying bacteria-tracking methods. "I think the best (they) can do is give you some evidence of the magnitude of each source."
Nonetheless, Stoeckel says, the analytical tools do provide useful information. Researchers have studied dozens of waterways. Wild birds and humans usually head the roster of who's fouling the water. But in some areas, dogs make significant deposits.
At Morro Bay, Calif., for example, dogs contribute roughly 10% of the E. coli, says Christopher Kitts, a microbiologist at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. "And that can be the difference between a beach closing and a beach not closing," he says.
Places where dogs dirty the water:
Stevenson Creek in Clearwater, Fla. Residents were worried that a sewage treatment plant contaminated the creek. But when Harwood tested the water, she found that dogs, along with leaky septic tanks and wild animals, were to blame for high bacteria counts. Dog feces probably washed out of yards by the creek, Harwood says.
Four Mile Run in Arlington and Fairfax counties, Va. Studies show that dogs add to the contamination in this suburban Washington, D.C. stream. Officials calculate that the 12,000 dogs living in Four Mile Run's watershed leave more than 5,000 pounds of "solid waste" every day.
Boise River in Boise. The river suffers from high bacteria levels that make it unsuitable for swimming. Testing of streams and drainpipes flowing into the river showed that in urban areas, dogs were a leading culprit. In some spots, dogs and cats account for even more of the bacteria than human feces - from dysfunctional septic tanks and leaky sewage pipes - do.
Fines don't sway some
“Even where dogs aren't the prime offenders, they're one of the few polluters authorities have control over. At many California beaches, for example, seagulls and other birds are most responsible for high bacteria levels. But federal laws protect birds.
That leaves dogs. Officials know that they have a lot of educating to do before people realize their pooch can be a canine sewage pipe. Some people find it humiliating to carry a plastic bag.
A survey by the Center for Watershed Protection in 1999 found that of the 41% of respondents who rarely or never clean up after their dogs, 44% would refuse to do so in the face of fines and neighbors' complaints. Reasons included, "because it eventually goes away," "small dog, small waste," and "just because."
So more cities may follow the lead of Laguna Beach, Calif., a wealthy beach enclave. The city provides pooper-scoopers at the local dog park. But many people "don't take care of their little friends," says Victor Hillstead, the city's parks and buildings manager.
So the city hired Entre-Manure, poop-scooping service based in nearby Dana Point whose motto is "#1 in the #2 Business." Since the city's contract started in January, the service has collected 187 pounds of dog waste from the city. "I'm real proud of that fact," says Craig Stern, founder and chief picker-upper. "That's pollution that'll never reach the ocean." Learn about Craig Stern at: Entre-manure.com
Cities struggle with 'dog piles'. Where they're cracking down:
By Traci Watson, USA TODAY (Continued)
San Diego. The city spent roughly $10,000 on extra trash cans, nagging signs and plastic "mutt mitts" at its Dog Beach, where the surf was closed to swimmers 125 times in 2000. The measures led to "measurably fewer dog piles. That's the term we use," says Ted Medina, deputy director for coastal parks. He estimates the beach is 30%-40% cleaner than it was before the effort started late last year.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area near Atlanta. Bacteria levels in the river exceed standards so often that a Web site tells would-be boaters and swimmers whether the river is safe on any given day. To help clean it up, park officials recently started giving tickets to visitors who have dogs but no doggie bags.
Boulder, Colo. Here the problem wasn't dirty water but the nitrogen in dog droppings. Native grasses in the city's mountain parks are used to low-nitrogen conditions. But with dogs doing their business, weeds were muscling aside the grasses. The city did 10 months of education before starting to hand out $100 fines last year. Boulder officials had to convince residents that dog waste "is not fertilizer," says Mike Patton, co-director of open space and mountain parks. "Some people really did believe it was."