Bernalillo County launches new campaign aimed at dog owners

Created: 04/01/2014 6:04 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There is no poop fairy.

Bernalillo County has launched an aggressive – but humorous – new campaign to encourage dog owners to pick up what their pets leave on the ground. County officials kick-started it Tuesday morning with a news conference in a riverside open space park, in front of a huge truck symbolizing the 40 dump truck loads of doggy dung that get washed into the Rio Grande every year.

“It’s really silly to think that the poop fairy is going to come along at night and magically pick up the dog waste and leave you a quarter,” said the county’s water resource planner Anita Steed. “It just doesn’t happen. You’ve got to pick it up yourself.”

Grab it – bag it – toss it. That’s the new motto. Toss it in the trash is what they mean.  That’s what Michael Griego does for a living. He runs Doody Calls – “when nature calls, we pick it up” –a private dog waste removal service.

“I would love to have a government contract for public places because a lot of the public spaces are our worst areas,” Griego said. “These trails here, we could go out right now on the trail out here along the river and I guarantee you we will find dog waste within the first 20 yards of walking down there.”

Actually it was more like 20 FEET. We found dog logs all along the main paved trail that’s so popular with hikers and runners and bikers and – yes – people walking their dogs.

We also found fresh piles of horse dung. Why no campaign about that? Well, horses are plant eaters. Their poop does not contain roundworms and ringworms and parvovirus or any of the other stuff that comes from dogs and other carnivores. It’s fertilizer, but doggy dung is not fertilizer. It needs to be picked up so that it doesn’t contaminate waterways, or get stuck to the bottom of your shoe.  And no, Virginia, there is no poop fairy.

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