Well, for starters- it’s the law. In Austin, City Code 3-4-6 requires that
“An owner or handler shall promptly remove and sanitarily dispose of feces left on public or private property by a dog or cat being handled by the person, other than property owned by the owner or handler of the dog or cat.” If your caught not disposing of your pet’s waste properly, you can face a fine of up to $500 in City Parks.
But have you ever wondered why? Sure, it’s not like anyone enjoys stepping in it, but can it really do that much harm?
It’s is a health risk to pets and people, especially children. When it rains, pet waste left on trails, sidewalks and grassy areas can wash into the nearest waterway. Even if you can’t see signs of water near you, the feces wash into storm drains and then travel to your neighborhood creek or lake untreated. Like human waste, animal waste may contain harmful bacteria and viruses, rendering the water unfit for recreation, or other uses. It takes only one teaspoon of dog feces in a water body the size of an Olympic pool to make the water unsafe for swimming. Pet waste also contains nutrients that will accelerate the growth of nuisance algae in creeks and lakes. So please, Scoop the Poop — it’s the healthy and neighborly thing to do!
- Bring It! Carry a scooper bag when you walk your dog.
- Scoop It! Use the baggie like a glove, scoop the poop, invert and seal the bag.
- Toss It! It belongs in the trash.
- Place It! Put a “Scoop the Poop” sign in your yard to encourage your neighbors to scoop it up too! To request a free sign, visit www.ScoopThePoopAustin.org or call 974-2550.