What to Do About Doggy-Do

Who would have guessed that dog excrement would become a topic of concern for local governments around the world, but indeed it has!

In Vancouver, there is a bitter debate raging about dog-do:  Dog owners claim they are cleaning up, while local officials say otherwise. A city in Taiwan is offering financial incentives for dog excrement collected and turned in. In the U.K., closed circuit television surveillance is being used to nab “dog fouling offenders.” In Spain, one city now has mandatory DNA testing and registration for dogs. Any found feces are tested and the offending owner pays lab costs and a fine. Cities in Ireland, Germany, Israel and the U.S .are considering similar measures.

Online, there are endless resources offering advice on the best ways to clean up dog pooh. Run-of-the-mill plastic bags are most common but you can choose scented or self-sealing bags. One website displays photos of celebrities doing the job with plastic bags, including one stylish woman tottering on 4-inch pink heels. Poop-scooping devices prevent the need to bend over and eliminate any risk of accidental exposure (the gal in the heels really could have used one of these). The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (apaws.org) offers a handy guide to find a clean-up service near you.

Experts do not see eye to eye on optimal disposal methods, but the most recommend burying, flushing, or putting it in the trash.

You can also find helpful advice online on how to confront “dog poop rebels” who fail to clean up. But I’d suggest a subtler method used by one of our staff members. She carries extra bags and sweetly offers them to fellow dog walkers who fail to notice or seem on the verge of walking away.

Psychology Today recently featured an article about Matthew Mazzotta at MIT who has created an art installation powered by, you guessed it, doggy-do. Park Spark—Transforming Dog Waste Into Energy to Power Public Art is an interactive installation at a dog park. Dog owners deposit feces which powers an attractive old-fashioned gas street lamp. Mazzotta hopes this will inspire others to come up with positive solutions to the dog poop dilemma.

While we wait for other creative minds to come up with ideas, those of us who love dogs can set a positive example by picking up after our own pets.  

Events that Help Homeless Pets.

Fees Waived for Veterans’ Pet Adoptions in honor of Memorial Day through Nevada Humane Society’s G.I.DOGS program through May 28 Special rates for non-veterans, too. Visit NevadaHumaneSociety.org or call 775-856-2000for more information.

Walk for Animals June 2 at Sparks Marina. Register today to help homeless pets.Brochures available at area businesses or download online at NevadaHumaneSociety.org.

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