Scoop That Poop!

Scoop That Poop!

It’s that simple. As harmless and “natural” as it may seem, your dog’s poop, if gone unchecked can cause serious problems for your local waterways, even if it’s just in your own backyard. Even brief rain events can cause runoff of water and everything that water picks up as it moves swiftly across impervious and compacted surfaces: oils, dirt, debris, dog poop… The nutrients, bacteria and general gunk that are the components of your furry friend’s excretions can cause major havoc to our waterways when you stop to consider the sheer number of dogs that relieve themselves every day.

Not only is it smelly, can permanently stick to your shoes, and attracts a wide assortment of unwanted bugs, dog poop is one contributor to water pollution and a major source of fecal coliform contamination. The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has taken quite a clever spin on the general scoop the poop campaign by making the dogs themselves the spokes[dogs] for the issue. This spring, eco-conscious dogs from the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Northern Liberties and Queen Village competed for the title and the prize baskets. But every dog (and dog owner) can do their part by picking up and disposing of your dog’s poop appropriately. PWD provides free doggie bags in handy dispensers that clip right to your dog’s leash so you are never left empty-handed.

Learn more about PWD’s Spokesdog Competition:

Last weekend along the Schuylkill River I stumbled (thank goodness not directly) on to a creative parkgoer’s response to finding an unwanted surprise in the middle of the bike path. Instead of cleaning it up right away they decided to highlight it as what not to do. It certainly got my attention!

The Puget Sound Partnership in Washington State got even more direct in their creative scoop the poop awareness by developing PSAs, penning a song and even choreographing a dance. My favorite part is “pull poop bag out with your right hand – thrust proudly straight up into the air.”

Learn the Dog Doogity:

The Tampa Bay Estuary Program in Florida has developed many innovative water quality protection programs including “Pooches for the Planet.” In addition to educational materials, a sponsorship program and a business partner program, the dogs themselves can get involved through AmbassaDogs. AmbassaDogs and their human companions patrol parks around the Estuary ensuring that other parkgoers know the importance of picking up after your pet.

Learn how pooches are helping protect the Tampa Bay Estuary:

The City of Eugene, Oregon also feels that dogs may be the best group to communicate the importance of scooping. Dogs/owners that take the pledge to dispose of pet waste properly get a free bandana. Owners then send in pictures of their proudly scooping pups.

See all of the Clean Water Canines: