Dog ownership can provide lots of love and companionship for a person or family. Walking a dog provides great exercise for the animal and the owner, but failing to pick up your dog’s waste is not only a public nuisance, it hurts the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the typical dog excretes 0.75 pounds of waste per day—or 274 pounds per year! There is an estimated 1,423,000 dogs in South Carolina; that equals 1,067,250 pounds of dog waste every sing day! York County encourages all pet owners to Scoop the Poop to help keep our waterways clean and safe.
Why is Scoop the Poop important?
Pet waste is full of bacteria, viruses and parasites such as Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli, along with the less famed Ancylostoma, Cryptosporidium, and Toxocara canis. When pet waste is left on the curb or the side of the road all of the bacteria and viruses in that pet waste are picked up by rain water and washed down the storm drain into the nearest creek, river or lake. It also has nutrients that can encourage the growth of fish-suffocating algae if released into rivers or streams. This makes the waterways unsafe for humans, animals, and aquatic life.
Many people say "Its poop, wont it decompose?" The short answer is yes, it will but when left on the surface of the ground all the harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites mentioned above drain strait into our waterways. Disposing of pet waste properly and safely is important to maintaining healthy waters and a healthy ecosystem. (check out "Disposal Methods" below).
How you can help
The solution is easy! Scoop the poop and dispose of it properly! And encourage others to do the same.
There are many ways to dispose of pet waste properly.
Flush it down the toilet. Sewage water (unlike storm water) is treated before being reintroduced to the ecosystem. Or if on a septic system it is passed through a DHEC approved method for deposing of waste (ie the tank and leach field).
Throw it in the trashcan.
Dig a ditch in your yard, away from water sources such as wells and creeks and away from gardens and bury it (not with the bag) a foot or more deep.
Flush kitty litter down a toilet (whether on city sewage or septic system)
Use dog or cat poop as fertilizers (see "Why is Scoop the Poop Important")