The scoop on pet poop

03/30/2018 6:00 AM by

George M shared with us:

So, we have a new dog – six-month-old German Shepard. Took her to the Church Hill dog park – below Chimborazo park – today (1st time) to discover lots of poop not picked up. I picked up 8 bags before I ran out of bags! I’m very sensitive to this as our dog contracted Parvo early on but survived (Huge shout out to Church Hill Animal Hospital!) Is this normal for the park? Dog parks are another great way to meet neighbors. However, I don’t think we will be hanging out there if it is frequented by owners who have little regard for the health and well being of all dogs who visit the park.

Editor’s Note: For a more in depth look at this issue, we asked a guest writer, Emily, to write up some commonly overlooked issues associated with pet waste. Emily is a Richmond native and fellow animal lover 3 rescue dogs of her own.  She is passionate about animal and community welfare.

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So what’s with all the poo, my doggo-loving Church Hill neighbors? Lingering doo is a poor representation of our generally dog loving and welcoming community. Being a pooper scooper isn’t just a responsibility of dog ownership for the sake of politeness or the salvation of shoes. It’s imperative to our local water quality, human and animal health, and a legal obligation.

Pet waste is picked up in storm water, which goes into the James River without getting treated and is a large contributor the high bacteria counts that are found in many Richmond streams, according the the Richmond Department of Public Utilities’ website. It is also can spread disease to humans and animals alike. Some diseases and parasites may become more infectious the longer the doo ages or can linger in contaminated dirt for a year or more. Note that dog poop also does not act as fertilizer; a relatively common misconception.

It’s understandable that getting caught without bags can happen. However, solutions to keep in mind: there are a few pet waste stations in the area with poop bag dispensers. I have often found these either empty, such as the one pictured from Chimborazo Park this weekend, or kindly restocked with neighbor-provided plastic grocery bags. Otherwise, scavenging for surrounding litter to use as makeshift receptacles (plastic bags, coffee cups, chip bags, etc.), can provide some bonus pup sniffing enrichment and neighborhood cleanup in a pinch, as I can attest! Although, the potential hazards and applicable laws pertain to pest waste on all property, including your own.

Anyone with more clever cleanup ideas or willing to fess up to dump and run scenarios?

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