Todays post is part of the Scoop That Poop Blog Hop (click the link to view all of the participants) hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever. We invite you to join us to educate and raise awareness to make a positive change in the world, #Scoop That Poop. Follow @Scoop_That_Poop on twitter and check out Scoop That Poop Campaign site.
Many people think that dog poop is natural and that it will “go back to nature” if they leave it on the ground. Well, it doesn’t and leaving it creates a real problem with pet waste.
I have worked for many years in water quality and spent much effort trying to educate people about the dangers that pet waste pose to human health and the environment. I have also spent some time trying to make people understand that picking up your pet waste is a law (it is where I live). I like to think that my efforts had some impact on the problem but I am sure it was pretty limited.
Really, no one likes people telling them what to do. Helping people to understand the dangers of leaving on the ground is a limited message. In the environmental education world, it is understood that those kinds of messages only touch people who care about the environment and already pick up their pet waste (enforcing that they should do it ALL of the time) or people who are thinking about it but need a few more messages to push them over the edge….called “brownies” ironically 🙂
According to a survey completed by Snohomish County Public Works and The Washington State Department of Ecology, dog owners are more likely to pick up pet waste in public if they feel peer pressure or embarrassment.
Because of that study, I started to think of other ways that the “pick up the poo” message could be presented. I convinced my boss to let us create a “I pick up my dog poop” sticker that we could give away at a local doggy festival. People could post these stickers publicly so others might feel some peer pressure. I also though of starting a website or Facebook page where people could post photos of pet waste that had not been picked up with the location listed so people might fear being embarrassed for leaving a pile.
I didn’t go down the second road because I thought, who wants to look at lots of photos of dog poop. I am not sure even I want to do that 🙂 Well, it’s been almost 2 years since I had that idea and looky what I found last week – A website called Pictures of Dog Doo Doo!
The blog’s tagline says “PoDDD is an international community to share, discuss, and sometimes laugh at pictures of dog doo-doo”. It takes a funny look at the business of dog business in the news and around the web. It also highlights videos, the best poop signs seen and Tweets about dog poop. I hope this new site (looks like it was started in March 2013) gains some traction and popularity because I think it’s a fun way to get the scoop the poop message and might impart an element of peer pressure in those that stumble across it.