Save Our Waterways! Unscooped Dog Poop Pollutes!

Dog poop enters U.S. waterways by the ton, bringing with it many parasites that can sicken humans. Either scoop the poop -- or hire a company that does, like DoodyCalls.

Anneli Rufus  |  May 4th 2012


It’s bad enough having to see dog poop on sidewalks and other public byways where inconsiderate sleazeballs have chosen not to pick up after their pets.

Imagine having to swim in it.

The 78.2 million dogs now living in the United States produce ten million tons of feces every year. That’s 30,000 tons a day — enough to fill 267,500 tractor trailers, according to a press release issued by the Virginia-based pet-waste pickup service DoodyCalls.

“If those 18-wheelers where lined up bumper to bumper, the caravan would stretch 3,800 miles!” the press release reads. “That’s the distance from Seattle to Boston, with a 750-mile detour through Oklahoma!”

For those who say, “So what? Dog doo is organic and actually enriches the soil as it degenerates, like any other animal manure,” DoodyCalls says: Not so fast, you excrement apologists.

“Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. According to the EPA, dog waste is considered non-point-source pollution,” reads the DoodyCalls infographic accompanying the release. “Bacteria, worms, and other parasites thrive in waste, eventually washing away into the water supply. … Two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within twenty miles to swimming and shell fishing.”

Well, that puts oyster shooters in a whole new light.

The infographic also warns that the longer dog poop stays on the ground, the greater the chance of contamination. Parasites commonly contained in dog feces include heartworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, parvovirus, giardia, salmonella, and E. coli. Many of these parasites can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Roundworm, in particular, can remain infectious for years in contaminated soil or water.

“People should pick up after their dog or hire someone to do it for them,” the company’s cofounder, Jacob D’Aniello, told the New York Daily News. His company is willing to take on that task, because “we have yet to find a city in America where people love picking up poop.”

D’Aniello, who founded DoodyCalls with his wife about twelve years ago, told the Daily News that along with scooping their pets’ leavings, owners should avoid going for walkies near creeks, rivers, and other waterways.

Because someday you might want to go for a swim.