Who hasn’t set foot there? Who finds scratching the dog (or any other animal) doo-doo off their shoes a less than pleasant experience? Just ask my husband, since his retirement, how delighted he is with his frequent occupation, being the main sooper-dooper-pooper-scooper in the house.
Okay, I admit it, discussing any type of poop probably isn’t the most captivating topic. Whether we own a dog, cat, horse, etc., we all know that everything that goes in must come out, and managing animal waste is one of the least appreciated aspects of owning a pet. company, a fact I am sure any tutor would agree with.
Why bring up this smelly subject? Well, April happens to be the “official” poo month. No, I’m really not satisfied. The first week of April, every year, is “International Poop Scoop Week”. The Association of Animal Waste Professionals (https://apaws.org/), founded in February 2002 by a group of professional poop pickers, thinks dog poop is no joke.
In recognition of a growing problem, aPaws has set up a special week to educate pet sitters on the importance of cleaning up after their dogs. Last, but not least, the day after Earth Day (April 22nd) begins another week that everyone should make fun of, and that’s “National Poop Pickup Week.” You could just say April went to the dogs (or is that their patties?)
Think about it for a second, the American Pet Products Association (https://www.americanpetproducts.org/) estimated that on average, the 84 million dogs currently living in the United States deposit approximately 62.7 million pounds of waste each day, which equates to 22.9 trillion pounds of waste each year. That equates to 286,344 tractor-trailers fully loaded with dog poop. To visualize, if those 18 wheels lined up bumper to bumper, the trailer would stretch for 4,067 miles. Essentially, it would stretch from New York to Los Angeles, with enough trucks remaining to go additionally from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas.
Basically, since we’re already visualizing, this doo-doo doggy is enough to cover 900 football fields with 12 inches of dog poop. Or, if you want to make it more personal, the Food and Drug Administration estimates that the average dog produces 0.75 pounds of waste per day, which per household, per year, per dog can equate to over 400 waste books. dog droppings. Doggone it, you have to agree that we are really talking about a bunch of bullshit.
In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized pet waste as a major contributor to nonpoint source pollution (https://www.epa.gov/nps/basic-information-about-nonpoint-source-nps-pollution). NPS pollution is caused by precipitation or melting snow moving over and through the ground. As runoff travels, it picks up and carries away pollutants, such as feces, depositing them in lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and groundwater. NPS pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fishing and wildlife.
Whether it’s a mangy pooch or a well-behaved champion, their dumpsites are one of the main sources of E. coli (fecal coliform) bacterial pollution. One gram of dog feces contains over 20,000,000 E. coli cells. Although one dog’s feces do not significantly affect the environment, the collective effect of hundreds of dogs can create serious problems. In fact, researchers in California, Florida, Idaho, and Virginia call dog-doo runoff from parks and yards contributing to dangerous levels of bacteria in lakes and coastal waters, the “Fido Hypothesis.” .
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pet feces can and does contribute to diseases that animals transmit to humans (zoonoses). When infected dog poo is left on the ground, roundworm eggs and other parasites can linger in the ground for years. Therefore, anyone who comes into contact with the soil, whether gardening, playing, walking, etc., runs the risk of coming into contact with these eggs. Children are at the greatest risk of infection because they tend to put their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes after playing in the dirt.
Some of the hard-to-pronounce parasites include Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Salmonella, as well as hookworms, ringworms, and tapeworms. Infections caused by these often cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea to name a few of the symptoms. Parasitic infections can certainly make you extremely sick and, for pregnant women, can pose a serious threat to their unborn child. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that dog dung is a nasty thing.
The risk to people and other animals decreases significantly when feces are quickly removed and disposed of properly. The concept is very simple. If your pet poops, pick it up, put it in a bag, seal it, throw it in the trash, then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. not available. People, again, it’s not rocket science.
So gather up whatever you use, whether it’s a poop scoop, gloves, bags, or a hazmat suit, and do your part to clean up the environment, one poop at a time. Oh, and since you’re already up to your elbows in the thing, now would be as good a time as any to empty that litter box as well.
Ronnie Casey has volunteered at the Tehama County Animal Care Center since moving in 2011. A retired registered nurse, she strives to help animals in need in Tehama County. She can be reached at [email protected].