Time is a precious commodity, and of all of the things on the average homeowner's to-do list, picking up after the pooch is probably down there towards the bottom. But as unpleasant and time consuming as it may be, keeping pet waste off the ground is an important neighborly responsibility held by all residents with pets.
Dog waste is more than just a gross and unsightly mess – it is an environmental pollutant and a human health hazard. Unattended waste is a major source of potentially deadly E. coli and can contain up to 23 million fecal coli form bacteria per gram. In 1991, it was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency, placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines.
But fear not, says DoodyCalls, the nation's leading pet waste removal service for homeowners and communities: Implementing a comprehensive pet waste management plan can put community pet waste problems to rest in no time.
When it comes to pet waste management plans, the most effective strategies are multifaceted, involving regular common area cleanings and the introduction of pet waste stations into the community.
Depending on the type of community and scope of the problem, cleaning common areas may require walking the entire grounds to scoop up waste and other litter. In other cases, the issue will centralize itself in a few locations, commonly referred to as "hot spots." These locations are where waste tends to accumulate more frequently than others. Identifying hot spots and keeping them clean can work to curb the problem immediately and also help to prevent it from spreading.
Many times, unattended pet waste is the result of circumstance rather than bad intentions. Forgetting to bring a bag for the waste or running out of bags during the walk are the most common reasons why dog walkers leave waste on the ground.
By installing and maintaining pet waste stations in your community, you get a simple, affordable and effective solution that is greatly appreciated by residents. When determining the number and location of stations, consider the density of homes, areas where dog owners tend to congregate and the natural foot traffic patterns throughout the grounds. The goal is to make it easy for dog walkers to pick up a bag at the beginning of their walk and easy for them to find a place to dispose of it at the end.
Keep in mind that even with pet waste stations installed in the community, it is still recommended to continue occasional full-fledged common area cleanings as well. For communities with lots of dog owners, it is always a good idea to consult a specialist to put together a comprehensive pet waste management plan.