“Yay! I found another dog poop bag on the beach!” said me – never. Just about every single time I go to the beach, I find a dog poop bag that a dog owner left behind. It is just as common to find a “poopbagus disgustimus” as it is a plastic food wrapper. It is so common that it really makes me wonder about humanity sometimes. I find un-bagged dog feces every time I go to the beach too – which is even worse! Dog poop ranks up there as the worst kind of litter along with hypodermic needles. I really do not like picking it up even though the feces is contained within plastic. My ol’ biker friend, Jack Gallagher would say, “you can’t shine sh!t”. Such profound truth! There’s no way to make poop on the beach pretty.
I want to know what the source of the problem is but since I am not a dog owner, I am having a hard time understanding why it’s happening in the first place. How is it that dog owners remember to bag the poop, but then leave it behind for someone else to pick up? Are dog owners entitled, forgetful or just lazy? I know exactly how one of the ways un-bagged poop happens at the beach: dog owners are talking with their friend, or just distracted while their unleashed dog is trailing behind them, unaware that their dog just relieved itself. We keep an eye on our children right? So why is it different for our pets?
Environmental Impact of Poop and Plastic
Dog poop is considered a pollutant as it kills flora such as grass; it is not a fertilizer like cow manure. If the bag is left behind, the plastic will photo-degrade and can leach harmful organisms such as parasites, E. coli bacteria, viruses and other types of parasites. It is one of the biggest ways how diseases infiltrate open waterways. Untreated waste is hazardous to wildlife as it is not a part of the natural ecosystem due to the diet of dogs. The longer the feces is left, the more cultured the viruses, parasites and bacteria can become. Not to mention, plastic bags can take 10 to 20+ years to completely photo-degrade.
Solutions for Pooper-Trators
Considering I find dog poop every time I go to the beach – both bagged and un-bagged, there should be a special sign posted about dog etiquette at the entrances to beaches. Information should include the environmental cost of leaving plastic and feces, in addition to a fine. I’ve heard others say there needs to be more garbage cans. My thinking is, pack it in, pack it out – don’t be lazy. I’ve seen highly generous locations go so far as to supply bags. That’s nice but costly – only neighborhoods with money can afford to keep that up. Also, there should be easy ways for people like me to anonymously report dog owners… It does seem like photos and videos are quite successful in documenting all sorts of abuses these days. It’s not a very practical solution, but in theory it sounds good!
What do you think the solutions are to help curb dog poop at the beach? Let’s hear it!
Dog Poop Bag Files
Yes, I begrudgingly picked up these bags and disposed of them properly. I am NOT the, “dog poop fairy”! These dog owners are on my eternal “sh!t list”. Kidding. 🙂
Poopiest post to date! 😉