I just love the Pick Up Poop Campaign. I realize that sounds a little strange. We at The van Bakeren Foundation are just as concerned about dog poop as the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. We just have more concerns.
We're certainly concerned about poop contaminating our water because of the nasty bacteria that can live in it, but we're also concerned about parasite eggs that can be found in dog poop, like roundworms. We're also concerned about poop from other animals, like cats and raccoons, to name a few others.
Why are we concerned? Because while these parasites can harm animals, they can also harm children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are on chemotherapy drugs that can damage their immune system that ordinarily helps them fight off infections, much like nasty strains of bacteria. That just opens up a whole can of worms right there. Pun fully intended.
So we want to make sure that people pick up after their dogs and put it in the trash, but we also want to make sure people don't flush used kitty litter down the toilet. There's not much we can do about poop from raccoons other than to try to keep them away from our homes and our sewer systems.
Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, MS, DVM
The van Bakeren Foundation