March 19, 2009
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) wants citizens to clean up after their pets. ACEPD has begun a public outreach campaign (funded by the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership) to teach citizens how to address pet waste at home and around the community. The campaign's slogan is "scoop it, bag it, trash it".
Pet waste can harm waterbodies, human health, and the health of pets. Chris Bird, Alachua County Environmental Protection Director explains, "Rainfall can carry harmful bacteria and nutrients from pet waste, polluting our creeks, lakes, and groundwater. We are finding that pet waste pollution can be a major source of water contamination, especially in urban areas."
Anthony Dennis, Alachua County Environmental Health Director states, "Prompt removal of pet waste can greatly reduce the possible risk of infection from the protozoan Cryptosporidium and Giardia and the bacteria Campylobacter and E.coli. These pathogenic organisms can contaminate both surface and drinking water resulting in gastrointestinal illness if incidentally consumed. Roundworms and hookworms are intestinal parasites that can present a risk of infection if soil becomes contaminated".
Dr. Ellis Greiner with the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine stresses that, "If we pick up and dispose of the feces passed by our dogs and cats we will reduce the risk of dog and cat parasite infections."
ACEPD is participating in community events with an information booth. Citizens can sign the Scoop Pledge, and get a free bag dispenser to take along as you walk your dog.
For more information, click here or call ACEPD at 352-264-6800.