To Scoop Poop or not to Scoop, That Is the Question! This parody of a famous Shakespearean line of the play Hamlet makes us think: why did Shakespeare never write about… poop… the way he wrote about roses?
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…” (Romeo and Juliet)
Well, obviously, when we think of things aesthetically pleasing, dog poop does not make the list. No wonder that some dog owners are not particularly fond of scooping it up. But isn’t pet waste also biodegradable and a natural fertilizer? Not necessarily…
What Are The Risks of Not Scooping Dog Poop?
We don’t live in an agricultural society anymore. Our dogs are not out there herding the sheep home or watching the cattle, roaming freely on large areas of green land. We live in big cities like Miami where green areas are smaller and they are often a public property to be enjoyed by pet owners and people with no pets, alike.
We walk our dogs in parks where people also bring their children, sometimes toddlers, to play in the grass and enjoy the fresh air. Toddlers don’t know the difference between dirt and poop, they just see it as yet another thing that they can stick their fingers into and taste. Some dogs do the same: for reasons unknown, they attempt to eat everything they are sniffing, which could be the doo-doo of a sick dog. That way, both humans and dogs are exposed to a higher risk of disease.
Dog poop is a pervasive way of contaminating water: it can be easily washed off into storm drains or nearby water streams, thus polluting it with harmful organisms such as Giardia, Salmonella and E. coli. Decomposing pet waste depletes water of oxygen and can release ammonia, which affects the well-being of fish and other water creatures. Yes, it’s that serious. And did I mention that stepping in doo-doo and possibly carrying it into a house, a car, or a shopping place is a tremendously unpleasant and embarrassing experience?
What Is Equipaws Doing to Help?
Why take a chance? With Equipaws, you will never worry that your doggie’s waste affects the environment in any of these ways. Our pet sitters are proudly equipped with biodegradable poop bags that are properly disposed of during or after the walk. When we sponsor events such as the yearly 5K Run Fur Fun to benefit Paws 4 You Rescue for the adoption of homeless dogs in Miami, we offer the same biodegradable poop bags to the dog owners participating. And we constantly contribute to educating the public on this topic, either through articles such as this, or through talks, conversations and promotional materials. We are environmentally conscious and we would love to help you be the same.
What Can Dog Owners Do to Help?
We all enjoy strolling in a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment. All of us pet owners can easily help create and maintain it by cleaning up after our dogs. It may not be our favorite part of the walk, but it is so important for our community’s well-being. We want to treat our pets and fellow human beings with the same dignity and respect that we treat ourselves with and our private environment. That creates better relationships and it sets an example for others who are still learning or new to pet ownership.
The Pooper-Scooper Law
In most cities and states of the U.S. the law says that dog owners must clean up after their dogs, with fines ranging from $20 to $10,000 if they fail to do that. The Pooper-Scooper Law of Miami-Dade County provides that dog owners be fined $50 for public nuisance, should they fail to clean up their dog’s waste and dispose of it properly.
Bottom line, our beloved doggie’s doo-doo may never make the rhyme of a beautiful world famous poem, but a gorgeous, litter-free park might just be the inspiration for one. Let us all be partners in creating and maintaining an attractive natural environment that nourishes lifelong memories for children and grown-ups alike, and that can inspire a Shakespeare of our modern days.
Contributed by pet sitter Manuela Nelersa.
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.