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For a cleaner, greener Hampton Roads
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Apr 11, 2022

Pet Waste: Scoop the Poop

Here’s the thing. No one wants to talk about—ahem—poop.

But when your pup leaves a little “calling card” on the ground somewhere, it will find its way into storm drains and ditches, and ultimately into our waterways, leading to a lovely stew of bacteria.

Dog waste affects the marine life and seafood we have, and even the people who swim in those waters. That’s why we encourage you to be a doo-gooder and scoop the poop, whether it’s in a public space or on your own lawn.

From your yard to our waterways is a toxic path.

Pup poop is not good fertilizer; it contains parasites and leads to bacteria formation and other bad stuff. If you think of it as “pet pollution” rather than “natural leftovers,” you’re heading in the right direction. We want to emphasize that just because it’s in your yard doesn’t make it okay. Not only does water move the poop and its bacteria from your yard to communal waters, some diseases can be transmitted from pet waste to humans through contact with the soil. That means that children playing outside, adults who garden, and anyone in your family walking barefoot in the backyard are at risk. Make your dog’s business your business and scoop the poop!  

Good to Know

  • When it rains, pet waste on the ground can wash into the storm drain. From the storm drain, the polluted water flows directly to our streams, bay and ocean – polluting the water we swim in and harming aquatic life with high levels of nitrogen and bacteria.
  • Excess nitrogen leads to rapid algae and weed growth in the waterway and produces cloudy, green, foul-smelling water. In turn, aquatic life suffers from depleted oxygen levels.
  • When bacteria gets in our waterways, people are at risk of getting sick from swimming in the water.

Good to Do

  • Always scoop the poop. Scoop it, bag it, and trash it! Take the Scoop-the-Poop Pledge below!
  • Reuse plastic shopping bags for picking up pet waste.
  • Tie a couple of plastic bags to your dog’s leash, and you’ll always be prepared.
  • Store extra plastic bags in your car in case you’re traveling with your dog and nature calls.
  • Support clean and healthy waterways. Take the Scoop the Poop Pledge today!

I pledge to…

  • Be a good environmental steward and neighbor by not looking the other way when it comes to pet waste.
  • Scoop it, bag it and trash it each and every time whether in my own yard or out for a walk.
  • Always take poop bags on walks with my pet – even if it means tying plastic grocery bags to the leash so I don’t forget.
  • Share the importance of keeping pet waste out of our waterways with others in my community.
  • Share the Scoop the Poop Pledge with other pet owners in my community.

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