In response to Tim Gannon’s letter in the Aldergrove Star, March 1, there are many local establishments that sell biodegradable dog waste bags. The bags are inexpensive.
Mr. Gannon deems dog waste to be an innocuous substance, however, he is incorrect in this assumption. Pet waste has been classified by the E.P.A. as a dangerous pollutant, in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil. The C.D.C. confirms pet waste can spread parasites such as hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and roundworms. In addition giardia, salmonella, and E. coli can be transmitted to dogs, cats and people through infected feces. Your dog can spread or contract parvovirus or coronavirus through infected stool. All of these parasites and diseases are very serious and common; every effort should be made by pet owners to keep their pets, family and neighbours safe from potentially infected feces.
The roundworm is a particularly dangerous parasite. If a human ingests a roundworm larva it can migrate through the body, potentially causing damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. Roundworm larvae can cause blindness. People, especially children, are at risk of becoming infected when they touch soil or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths. For this reason alone, I consider the act of leaving of your dog’s stool in a playground or on a school property to be a particularly offensive crime.
Dog poop does not simply just “wash away”; it contaminates the environment. Pet waste has been identified as the source of nasty bacteria found in streams and sea water. The poop on a lawn will eventually “disappear’ but the parasite eggs can linger in the soil for years. When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs, even years after the poop is gone.
People with dogs simply do not have the right to foul another person’s property, or to foul public property, with dog waste. People with dogs do not have the right to endanger other pets and people by littering unhygienic and inherently dangerous waste. Dog owners, please don’t make your responsibility somebody else’s problem.
Liz Pahlke, Aldergrove