Watch Your Step! Snowmelt Reveals Nationwide Problem
MILWAUKEE, RIVERWEST – March 20, 2019
Snowmelt is revealing dogs’ "surprises" scattered across Riverwest, WISN12 reported. Riverwest residents are noticing a fecal mess left behind, showing just how many dog deposits were never picked up this winter.
"It's excessive, we've definitely stepped in it a few times," said Ally Holcomb, a Riverwest resident with a dog named Myla to a WISN12 reporter. "It's disgusting, yes."
"I just feel like people can get away with [not picking it up] during the winter because it's easier to hide. You could just cover it up," said Brianna Laux-Kocis, who owns one dog named Charlie.
While Riverwest residents may be seeing more dog waste around the neighborhood, it isn't just a Riverwest problem. Shorewood created a campaign that encourages dog owners to clean up after their pets.
“You may say, "just leave it, it will decompose", the Campaign’s website reads. “Actually THIS IS NOT the way to handle dog waste in your yard and along sidewalks, in other people's yards and in our parks. Here's why:
It takes months for poop to decompose and in the meantime people and dogs step in those brown, smelly bombs and track them indoors. Yuck!
When it rains the rain washes poo residue into sewers and into the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. NO, we DON'T want poopy stormwater in our waters, especially since rivers flow into Lake Michigan where we get our drinking water. Dog waste, like human waste, poses a risk to public health and water quality. Double yuck!”
The City of Milwaukee also created flyers explaining how pet feces is far from fertilizer and can actually contaminate our groundwater.
The dogs that are fed raw and higher-grade food have small, compact, lightweight and less smelly poops. Dogs that eat cheaper brands, such as Benefit or Old Roy (Walmart brand) often have large, wet, greasy and strong smelling poops.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dog poop is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills. Still many pet parents think leaving their dog’s dooty behind is harmless.
“It’s totally natural”. “Wild dogs don’t pick up and bag their poop, so why should I?” “It’s like fertilizer, I’m helping the grass to grow.” “My dog is healthy, there’re no germs in his poop.” “I’m sorry, but I have got much more important things to do in my life.” These are just a sampling of the excuses pet parents use to justify not picking up their pooch’s poop. In fact, each and every one of them is false.
In fact, a single gram of dog poop is estimated to contain 23 million fecal bacteria that can cause a slew of health problems in humans.
It’s estimated that at least 40% of dog owners leave their pet’s poop where it lands, never giving it a second thought.
With nearly 73 million dogs in the United States alone, that’s a lot of poo being left behind.