If Bowser Can’t Control His Bowels, Let’s Send Him to Mars, Where There Is No Water To Pollute
by Tiger Tom
Editor’s Note: Veteran Gazette columnist Tiger Tom is no friend of dogs ( see Tiger Tom’s Dog Products Page and Tiger Tom’s Tales of Dogs), and he gets extra steamy when he sees a pile of canine excrement on a lawn or sidewalk. Dog manure is not only an aesthetic nuisance; it is a major source of water pollution–a problem we conveniently ignore in deference to “man’s best friend.” Tiger Tom is dead serious when he tells us that Bowser may be cute to his owner, but to the rest of us he’s just a smelly, expensive manure machine. –Hardly Waite.
A great environmentalist has said that the best thing an individual can do to help the planet is to serve his dog for dinner. That may sound radical, but the idea has merit. Dogs are without question the worst news possible for planet Earth. These pampered gluttons consume vast amounts of resources, contribute nothing useful in return, and, worst of all, leave behind piles and piles of the foulest dung imaginable. And they are not at all particular about where they leave it.
Gazette numerical wizard B. Sharper has written at length on the damage done to water supplies by droppings by the world’s far-too-numerous canines. Here are a couple of Bea’s findings:
Daily excrement output of these dogs, in tons–30.000.
Yearly excrement output of these dogs, in tons–10,000,000.
Number of 18-wheel tractor trailer trucks that would be required to haul away 10,000,000 tons of dog manure–267,500.
Length in miles of the caravan made by these 267,500 manure wagons if they were lined up bumper to bumper–3800.
Approximate percentage of Americans who don’t pick up their dogs’ feces–40%
It is about this last item, the irresponsible 40% who don’t pick up after their slobbery mutt, that I want to speak. Forty percent is a lot of people, when you consider that 60% of American families now have at least one dog, and some have way more than one. An article in Stormwater suggested some ways to try to make the irresponsible responsible. Although the Stormwater article does not mention my own “serve your dog for dinner” remedy, here are a few of their ideas:
Turn Spot’s Droppings into Something Useful.
From Massachusetts to the UK, dog waste is being converted into fuel to power everything from streetlights to homes. At Pacific Street Dog Park in Cambridge, Mass., a methane digester known as The Park Spark project transforms dog droppings into methane, which powers a lamppost. The park provides biodegradable bags to dog walkers, and encourages people to drop waste into the digester’s feeding tube. Across the pond in Chester, England, renewable energy company Streetklean is using a similar anaerobic digestion system to convert dog poo into energy that heats and powers residences.
It’s not uncommon for cities or apartment complexes to fine people who leave dog waste behind, but some properties take clean-up duty more seriously than others. For example, Twin Ponds apartments in Nashua, N.H. is one of many properties that requires tenants with dogs to use a “PooPrints” pet DNA sampling kit when they move in. If feces is found on the grounds, property managers simply send the sample to BioPet Vet Labs, learn the dog’s identity and fine the resident.
I, Tiger Tom, believe it would be entirely reasonable to require DNA samples from all dogs to be held in a national dog crap identification registry to be consulted any time an unidentified dog chunk is found in a public place. Here is a low tech variation on the same idea in which the public act as detectives to bust the irresponsible dog owner:
The small town of Brune, Spain, has reported a 70-percent decrease in dog waste since its campaign in which it returned dog poo to the rightful owner. For a one-week period, volunteers approached dog owners who left their pet’s droppings behind and struck up a conversation with the goal of learning the dog’s name. “With the name of the dog and the breed it was possible to identify the owner from the registered pet database held in the town hall,” a spokesman from the council related. When the guilty dog owner’s address was confirmed, the poop was placed in a box labeled “Lost Property” and delivered via courier to the person’s home.
Similarly, the Blackburn City Council in England announced a program to publicly post the names and photos of people who don’t clean up after their canine criminals. The city called on the public’s help, asking residents to be the eyes of ears of the pilot program by snapping culprits’ photos and reporting them to the council. The report does not mention if capital punishment was an option after identification of the mutt owner. Most of the schemes are way too nice. In Mexico City, dog owners get free WiFi for picking up after their mangy mastiff. “When people deposit bags of dog droppings into a special bin, it calculates the weight, and Internet portal Terra gives everyone in the park free minutes of WiFi. The greater the weight, the more time people have to surf the Web.”
These, of course, are cutesy non-answers to a real problem. A steamy pile of dog dung isn’t just a disgusting inconvenience: when it makes it into the water supply, it carries major bacteria and cysts. USA Today says that you can measure the canine population by measuring the fecal matter in the water:
From mutt to blue-blooded champion, all dogs harbor so-called coliform bacteria, which live in the gut. The group includes E. coli, a bacterium that can cause disease, and fecal coliform bacteria, which spread through feces. Dogs also carry salmonella and giardia. Environmental officials use measurements of some of these bacteria as barometers of how much fecal matter has contaminated a body of water.
I, Tiger Tom, say that polluting the public water supply is an attack on the public. Dare I call it terrorism?
Source Reference : Stormwater