Colorado Springs is dealing with a doggy doo-doo dilemma.
Last week, a city spokeswoman said city street inspectors have been finding a large number of bagged dog feces in storm water drains, especially in the Broadmoor Valley area and Mountain Shadows, two of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods.
The story generated dozens of responses over the weekend, including a call from some fed-up residents for dogs to be banned from public parks.
In a letter to the editor today, Anna Whelan said the problem is out of control.
“While walking, I have noticed more feces not being picked up and if they are picked up, some owners are leaving the bags by the posts for extra bags,” she stated in the letter.
“I have a 10-month-old who just started walking, and I would love to bring him to the park without worrying too much where he is stepping or falling,” she said.
The city’s Public Communications Office issued a plea today to pet owners: be responsible.
“While one pet might contribute only minor amounts of pollution, the combined effect of a neighborhood and the city is serious,” city spokeswoman Julie Smith said in a news release.
“Being a responsible pet owner not only reduces contaminants in storm water runoff, but it keeps the areas you walk clean for everyone,” she said. “Everyday personal actions can have a significant impact on our community, and managing pet waste properly is something that everyone can do to make a difference.”
According to Smith, doggy doo-doo stinks when it isn’t properly disposed because:
Pet waste ends up in city storm drains where it travels through the city’s streams and creeks untreated, putting water quality and your health at risk.
Diseases that can spread from pet waste include:
Salmonellosis – the most common bacterial infection transmitted from animals to humans. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Campylobacteriosis – a bacterial infection – causes diarrhea in humans.
Toxocarisis – roundworms transmitted from animals to humans. Symptoms include fever, rash, vision loss, and cough.
It is unlawful to leave your pet’s waste in our city’s parks, catch basins, storm drains and streets. Code of the City of Colorado Springs 2001, as amended 9.9.301.
The decay of the pet waste in our waterways releases ammonia that can kill fish and other aquatic life.
The odor and site of pet waste makes walking along a trail or playing in a park unpleasant for everyone.