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We have more than 125,000 dogs and 60,000 outdoor cats in Seattle! That amounts to about 50,000 lbs of pet waste every day!
Left on streets, curb strips and in yards and parks, pet waste can be carried by rainwater to storm drains and into our creeks, lakes and Puget Sound without treatment. It is one of the leading causes of bacterial contamination in our streams and causes other water quality problems just like livestock manure and fertilizer.
There are bacteria and micro-organisms in pet waste such as Roundworms, E. coli, and Giardia that can make people sick if they’re ingested. Some can last in your yard for as long as four years if not cleaned up. Children who play outside and adults who garden are at greatest risk of infection. If pet waste is washed into the storm drain it ends up in lakes, streams or marine water, and people can accidentally swallow bacteria and other disease-causing organisms while swimming or playing in the water. These bacteria also end up in shellfish, and can make the people who eat them very sick.
It’s bad for your health, our waterways, and potentially your pocketbook! There are laws in Seattle to protect our health and our environment which require pet waste to be picked up and disposed of properly.
(A) Allowing the accumulation of feces (civil infraction, $109.00 fine)
(B) Not removing feces from another’s property (civil infraction, $54.00 fine)
(C) Not having equipment to remove feces (civil infraction $54.00 fine)
(G) Keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions (criminal – animal cruelty, maximum $1,000 fine)
(C) In Parks: Failure to carry equipment for removing feces OR failure to place feces in appropriate receptacle. (civil infraction, maximum $54 fine)
Seattle Animal Shelter
Look It Up Tool – How to dispose of pet waste
Public Health of Seattle & King County – Infectious diseases spread from animal to humans
Puget Sound Starts Here – Get involved in improving the health of the Puget Sound