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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PUP: Picking up waste, dropping some knowledge

Photo by J. Quinn
Summer days and dog walking go hand in hand. On your walks, have you seen any of our PUP signs? The requests for them continue coming in, but so do the questions about the real motivators behind this successful campaign.

Our Pick Up Poop! (PUP) program comes down to two things: Water quality, and common courtesy.

The bac facts: Bacteria Tallahassee (Florida)'s "Think About Personal Pollution (TAPP)" runs a similar pet campaign, and they offer a helpful comparison between the amounts of bacteria in various animal wastes.

TAPP goes on to explain:
Dogs present a special problem. Built to eat almost anything, dogs have as especially large number of intestinal bacteria to digest that wide variety of food, about 23 million bacteria per gram of waste.
Due to dogs' high-protein diets, their waste is highly acidic. It is not a fertilizer and can contain 10 times as much fecal coliform bacteria as cow manure, and also a whole lot of nasty stuff like e. coli, salmonella, and giardia.

In your backyard: Sure, our PUP campaign includes a plea for personal responsibility and common courtesy (don't leave your pet's waste on someone else's lawn), but even at home, leaving the waste to accumulate in your backyard is not the best option for similar health and environmental issues. There are better options available.

More than dogs? But the PUP program is about more than bacteria. One of our blog's guest posts came from The van Bekeren Foundation Executive Director Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, MS, DVM. She admits that the concern goes beyond dog waste.

Bagging it: The next logical question people ask is, "But is bagging the waste really any better for the environment?" Well, yes.

Our PUP campaign is about common courtesy and water quality, and improving behaviors in both of those areas are rarely bad ideas.


  1. My neighbor hasn't cleaned up after their dog since NOVEMBER 2012. When just the slightest sun sines on the back yard it stinks to high heaven. What can I do? I tried talking to them, but it seems the more I talk the less they clean up.

    1. Thanks for the comment and question, Tammy. We've had customers ask this before and our response is to speak to your city or local officials. Our campaign is to raise awareness of dog waste as it relates to public health and water quality, but unfortunately when it comes to courtesy, that's not something we have control of. Check out our PUP site linked above and we'd be happy to send you some of our materials if you'd like to share them.

  2. There is a man in our neighborhood who carries a shovel to scoop up his dog's poop and then deposits it in the nearest storm drain. When I mentioned that I didn't think that was a good idea, he claimed a city official had told him it was the best way to deal with the situation since our drinking water get treated before it gets to our taps. I don't believe this is the case and am concerned about the man's actions but even more about the possibility that a city official might have offered the advice.
    Any suggestions?

  3. The link to find out why bagging poop is better for the environment leads to a 404 page not found. I'm super interested in how bagging is better! When will this be updated?

    1. Thanks for letting us know. I've moved that content to another link that should be more readily accessible. Here you go.


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