Picking up poop is the right thing to doo.

Smokey proudly shows off his "PUP" bandanna.

Why? Because dogs can't flush. Doggies can’t scoop it, so you have to doo it! The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has introduced a campaign encouraging dog owners to Pick Up Poop, or “PUP.”  PUP educates pet owners about the environmental hazards of abandoned poop and encourages them to scoop that poop!   

Dog poop is a contributor to many water quality problems, impacting not only local waterways but area beaches. When it rains, the runoff takes just about everything off the ground with it. Lawn chemicals, litter, road salt and debris, cigarette butts and bacteria from dog poop are just a few possible contaminants. 

“There are approximately 90,000 dogs living in Cuyahoga County, producing 45 tons of poop each day,” said Frank Greenland, Director of Watershed Programs. “Cleaning up after your pet is a simple way to help keep our neighborhoods, local waterways and ultimately Lake Erie clean.” 

The scoop on doggie poop

  • An average pile of doggie doo produces 3,000,000,000 fecal coliform bacteria!
  • Dog droppings have 10 times more fecal coliform bacteria than cow manure.
  • Dog poop can also contain other bacteria such as e. coli, salmonella and giardia.
  • Dog poop is not a fertilizer; doggies eat a high protein diet (as opposed to a cow’s vegetarian diet), resulting in highly acidic waste.
  • 40 percent of U.S. households have at least one dog.

What to do with all that doo? Don't drop your dog's poop into the storm drain. Most storm drains flow directly to your local stream and NOT a wastewater treatment plant. Remember to take a bag with you (biodegradable preferred) on your walks and scoop that poop! “Doo” the responsible thing – your “doo-ty” as a pet owner – and simply throw the bagged poop into the trash.

The Sewer District will be promoting “PUP” at many events throughout the year, starting with Q104’s “Pledge for Pets” fundraiser for the Cleveland APL. Sewer District employees answered phones and took pledges Friday, April 30, from 6-9 a.m; all callers during that time received a PUP bandanna for their doggie.  

More information about the Sewer District and the PUP campaign is available online at WhereDoesItGo.org/PUP.

Jennifer Elting is a public information specialist with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD).

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 9:58 AM, 04.28.2010