Doody is their duty. Dog doody, that is.
DoodyCalls, a nationwide pet waste removal company, is spearheading the Doody-Free Water Project with the aim of donating 250,000 pet waste bags to California parks and greenways—and instead of deciding blind what locations will receive the bags, they’re asking residents to weigh in on where pet waste bags are needed to prevent poop from staying unscooped.
Factors that will determine what locations will receive bags include places with the greatest perceived need, their proximity to waterways, and popularity/use of the park. Waterways are a concern with the project because unattended pet waste eventually breaks down and washes into and pollutes our water.
“[When left unscooped] dog waste seeps into our waterways and it’s really toxic,” said Lois Gorman, Franchise Owner of DoodyCalls Sacramento. “Our goal is to make people aware of that and help them understand it needs to go to landfill, it needs to be incinerated, it needs to not be on the ground.”
Dog waste often contains harmful bacteria and parasites, including E. coli, ringworm, tapeworm, heartworm, and giardia (to name a few). The EPA puts dog waste in the same environmental pollutant category as insecticides, oil, grease, toxic chemicals, and acid drain from abandoned mines. Left to its own devices, it pollutes our rivers, lakes, streams, and other waterways.
The project, which is concentrating its efforts on the Bay Area and Sacramento, envisions a doody-free California where accessibility to dog waste bags helps keep waste off the ground and out of those waterways. Their goal is to use this project to raise awareness about the harms of not scooping your dog’s poop, and, by donating bags to communities, they’re putting action behind their words.
“This is a way for us to not only want it to happen, but to help make it happen,” Gorman said.
The dangers of dog waste is an issue many of us probably didn’t know lurked in our backyards, parks, and greenways. And with an estimated 8.5 million dogs in California who produce 2.3 billion lbs. of poop a year, it seems as though doody should be our duty, too.
“In California, water is so precious to us, and this being a drought year makes it even more so,” explained Gorman. “I don’t want something that my dog might have done contaminating or harming anybody else’s child, dog, cat, whoever…There’s a way to prevent that and to get people to understand that one little piece can cause so many troubles. It’s not that hard to pick it up, it’s really not hard.”
To submit a park request for donation of pet waste bags, visit www.doodyfreewater.org/