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Topic: Reasons to Pick Up After Your Pet

Reasons To Pick Up After Your Pet

Reasons to Pick Up After Your Pet


Pet waste is a "perfectly natural, normal thing."  It's biodegradable. I mean, you can't get any more natural than pet waste! So, why is it such a big deal that we all take along those little baggies and do the perfectly UNNATURAL and disgusting duty of picking that stuff up?! Ewww!


Pet waste is natural, but think of ALL the pets concentrated in a city, not to mention all over the country! The fecal matter of most birds and mammals, including dogs, contains E. coli bacteria, which can live for a long time outside the body. E. coli is responsible for infections, food poisoning and swimmer's itch. Surface waters (bodies of water above the ground) often become contaminated with E. coli from sewage spills AND from animal waste, as rainwater picks up pet waste and its bacteria and carries it into storm drains that empty directly into local bodies of water. Don't forget that many areas get their drinking water from local lakes and rivers!


So, if picking up after your pet sounds gross, just think about how gross it would be to drink, swim in or fish in contaminated water!


There. There's your motivation. As for the baggie, either drop it in the garbage or break open the baggie and drop the contents in the toilet and flush. The best option is flushing. Flushed water is cleaned up at the wastewater treatment plant, while "canned" material ends up in the landfill, which stands the chance of leaking someday or, more realistically in our lifetime, filling up.


Courtesy of Environmental Educator Mandy Smith-Thompson

(Courtesy of

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