Your Pet

Did you know that pet waste contributes to low-level pollution in rivers, streams and ponds? This contamination can sicken people, pets and wildlife. Help people's best friends be green.

Reduce the environmental impact of your dog! Drawing: Carly Rocklen.

Reduce the environmental impact of your dog! Drawing: Carly Rocklen.

Every time it rains, dog waste washes into nearby streams and ponds from locationsĀ on the street, the sidewalk, on trails, and even in the grass in our yards.

The waste – really, a form of fertilizer with bacteria and viruses aboard – may be transported into streams and ponds, via rain or melting snow flowing over the landscape. Or, the water may carry the waste into a catchbasin in the street, then through underground pipes, and straight into a waterway.

Once in a waterway, dog waste not only causes pollution but also adds nutrients (fertilizer), which can nurture excessive growth of algae and aquatic plants. When this mass growth of plants and algae eventually dies and breaks down, the process removes oxygen from the water, stressing and potentially killing fish.

The viruses in dog feces also can sicken the people and wildlife that use the waterways.

Unfortunately, because so many people have dogs, the waste really piles up.

How you can help

As a pet-owner, you can lead the way in cleaning up your community streams and ponds by simply picking-up after your dog. This quick, simple activity can make all the difference.

By being a responsible pet owner, you set an example for your neighbors to follow.

And if you ride horses, it’s important to pick-up after your horse, too.