The Power of Scooping Poop

September 23, 2020

Have you ever heard of the Poop Fairy? No? Probably because there is no such thing.

Pet owners across Montgomery County are responsible for picking up their pet’s waste when in public areas and at home. Pet waste is unpleasant to look at or step in and it does not smell good. Not only does picking up your pet’s waste ensure parks, sidewalks, and lawns are pretty, it also ensures that other residents and pets are healthy and that local streams are clean.


Why is it important? 

Dog poop contains countless different bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be dangerous to other pets, wildlife, and people. A common misconception is that dog poop can be used as fertilizer, much like cow manure. Dogs’ diet and digestive systems are vastly different from cows’, so their poop when left behind does more bad than good due to its content.

Pet waste left behind can be tracked home if residents or other pets step in it, putting them at risk of illness. Pet waste not tended to can also runoff into local streams and rivers when it rains, contaminating the water. Streams and rivers with elevated levels of bacteria can harm people who use them for recreational or drinking purposes as well as harm local birds, fish, and animals that live and feed in these habitats.



So what can we do to reduce water pollution and the spread of harmful, fecal bacteria?

Residents must regularly pick-up after their pets in parks and in their own yards instead of leaving waste behind. When a dog poops, scoop it, bag it (tying tightly), and dispose of the baggie in a trash bin or designated pet waste station. A good way to save money while cleaning up after pets is to reuse plastic grocery produce bags, newspaper bags, bread and bagel bags for collecting poop.

Remember it is our collective responsibility to keep our land and water clean and our friends, family members, and pets healthy.

Pick up poop and be proud!

Learn more about pet waste.

Guest blog by: Emma Frank, Summer 2020 DEP Watershed Restoration intern.

Images courtesy of Emma Frank

6 comments on "The Power of Scooping Poop"

  1. Hello there! I agree with your thought that many dog owners feel someone else will clean up their dog waste – might be the pet waste fairy. And they never imagine if dog poop is left-back, the bacteria it carries are washed into the storm drain during rains, flowing to the closest waterway. So every dog parent must pick up after their dog poop. Thanks for sharing the enlightening post.

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Eileen says:

    It would be so nice if there were containers at the parks where you could dispose the bag of poop. It would also be appreciated if a large sign would be posted at the entrance of parks to REMIND the pet parent to be sure to pick up after their pet.

    Cloverly Park definitely need to have a LARGE sign posted. It isn’t healthy for pet owners to be exposed to poop that isn’t cleaned up!
    Dogs do like to sniff and if the poop that wasn’t picked up is from a sick dog then our healthy dog could get sick.

    Thank you!

  3. James Curry says:

    FYI, I have cleaned up poop and other debris blown in front of my home or county streets after landscapers cut grass. I would like the public to pay attention to the amount of litter that’s blown into our neighborhood streets and public roads that flow into our waterways. I can’t find any laws that cover landscapers debris! Help!!

  4. Dogg Ketcher says:

    The Poop Fairy may not exist, but the responsibility of pet owners to pick up after their furry friends is very real. The importance of proper waste disposal cannot be overstated, as pet waste contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can spread disease to both animals and humans. Not only does cleaning up after your pet keep public areas and private property looking nice, but it also plays a critical role in keeping the environment healthy. Pet waste that is left unattended can be washed away by rainwater and pollute local streams, rivers, and wildlife habitats. So, let’s all do our part and pick up after our pets, not only for the sake of our community but also for the sake of our environment.

  5. Yan says:

    I will pick up ur poo

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