Clean it up and be responsible

A sign at the Bay Village Community Garden reminds pet owners to clean up after their dogs.

Two recent dog incidents prompted me to write this to educate readers about a couple of dog laws that, if not complied with, can lead to health and environmental issues.

Incident number one: A Bay resident found significant bags of dog waste tossed over a bridge and in a creek as he was doing yard maintenance. This prompted the resident to look back on home security footage to witness the repeat offender daily tossing dog-waste-filled bags in the creek. This person was less then two blocks from a park entrance that greets everyone with trash cans.

Incident number two: Bay Village Police received a complaint about an adult walking dogs on a regular basis during the day and repeatedly putting full dog-waste bags in a street sewer.

The Bay Village codified ordinance states: "It shall be the duty of all persons having control of animal to curb such animal and immediately remove all feces and dispose of same in sanitary and safe manner."

Canine waste contaminates water and is not a fertilizer. EPA studies show canine waste pollutes waterways. The EPA categorizes it the same as oil and mine run-off.

The Clean Water Campaign released these facts about pet waste that is not picked up:

  • Pet waste decays, using up dissolved oxygen and releasing compounds that are harmful to fish and other animals that rely on water.
  • Pet waste contains nutrients that can cause excessive algae growth in a river or lake. Consider that the next time the family or Fido goes swimming.
  • Pet waste contributes to the bacterial contamination of our rivers, lakes and streams. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria such as E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria, some of which can cause diseases in humans.

Here are some training tips for dog owners/walkers:

1. Always carry extra bags for dog waste. Purchase an inexpensive dog-waste bag attachment for leashes. Double your bags until you find a trash can or return home. Dog feces can pose health issues to humans and our environment. Consider some of these along with other possible parasites that can impact not only pets but your personal health too: giardia; salmonella; leptospira; E. coli; parvo virus; round, hook and tape worms. Wash or sanitize your hands!

2. Train your dog to eliminate on your own property, then walk. With positive repetition and consistency this will condition the dog that the walk is a reward/exercise.

3. Adhere to the dog license laws. This is a city, county and state law. Proper-fitting collars with a leash that is safe and appropriate to your dog's size and management is also in most city ordinances applicable to not only residents but guests visiting our parks and communities. Most municipalities have written leash codes into their animal control ordinances. 

For a complete listing of animal ordinances contact your local animal care and control officer or city law department. Most municipalities have their animal laws on their websites.

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown

Owner, Hot Diggity Dog, Inc.

Read More on Pet Care
Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:17 PM, 05.06.2019