Pet Waste

Dog with poop bag AdobeStock_267984367Pet waste which can be washed by rainfall into storm drains is hazardous to people, animals and the environment. Many people believe that storm water gets cleaned but it does not. Storm water receives no treatment, rather it flows directly into our rivers and lakes. When left in public areas or your yard pet waste is carried by rainwater into storm drains causing significant water pollution. In addition to polluting, improperly disposed of pet waste can transmit disease to pets, children and adults who garden.

Hazards of Pet Waste

Diseases or parasites that can be transmitted from pet waste, between pets or even to humans, include:

  • Campylobacteriosis- A bacterial infection carried by dogs, cats and chickens that frequently causes diarrhea in humans.
  • Cryptosporidium- A protozoan parasite carried by dogs, cats, mice, calves and many other mammals. Common symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and dehydration. May be fatal to people with depressed immune systems.
  • Tinea- Commonly known as ringworm is a fungal infection that can be transmitted from used cat litter to humans and causes a scaly rash on the skin.
  • Toxocariasis- Roundworms usually transmitted from dogs to humans, often without noticeable symptoms, but may cause vision loss, a rash, fever, or cough.
  • Toxoplasma gondii- Sometimes found in cat feces, this parasitic protozoan causes the disease toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis, though not usually dangerous, for persons with compromised immune systems and for pregnant women it may have severe consequences.

Additional Bacteria or Parasites

Other examples of bacteria or parasites that are associated with pet waste are hookworms, fecal coliform bacteria, Giardiasis, Salmonella, Brucellosis, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Leptospirosis.