Thanks to Mary Cocklin for her letter, “Pick up your own poop,” which reminds us that there is no poop fairy to clean up pet waste. Every dog owner is responsible for their own pet’s poop, and you could be hit with a $250 fine if you are cited for not cleaning up after your dog.
Anchorage Waterways Council, which oversees the Scoop the Poop program, greatly appreciates everyone who already picks up after their pets, and although it is particularly generous that Ms. Cocklin and others clean up dog poop that is not theirs, scooping another dog’s poop isn’t something that anyone should have to do. Why do we need to scoop the poop?
Besides the “eww” factor when you step in it, dog poop can carry parasites and disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Much of this ends up in our creeks whenever there is runoff from rain, breakup, or water from our yards — including washing your car. Poop is washed down through our watersheds and ultimately by way of the thousands of municipal storm drains into our lakes and creeks, without any treatment.
Cleaning up after your pet not only improves our neighborhoods, trails and dog parks, but it also helps keep our waterways where we fish, raft, kayak, canoe, wade and swim healthy. Please do your part! There are more than 150 pet waste stations throughout the municipality that provide bags along trails and in dog parks. Even so, it’s always a good idea to carry a couple, because you never know when you or someone else might need one. And, please dispose of the bagged poop properly — this means in the trash and not left on the ground.
— Cherie Northon
Executive Director, Anchorage Waterways Council
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