Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stoop, Scoop, and then what?

Yesterday was Earth Day and there were a lot of helpful stories, posts and tweets advising pet parents about how we can be environmentally friendly concerning caring for our pets. This topic always brings poop bags to mind.

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Consumers have choices for this product that include both biodegradable and compostable options. It may be a "green" choice to buy them but it isn't green at all if the bags containing dog waste end up in the landfill inside plastic garbage bags. The only difference made in that case is the consumer paid more for the bags.

Sometimes it doesn't even make it that far. We often see people walk away and leave their dog's poop on the ground or we find it left behind in securely-tied bags on our front lawns. What's up with that? Surely making it all the way home with the bag of poop isn't the most difficult part of the job.
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 2 days worth of dog waste from about 100 dogs would contribute enough pollution to close a beach, and all watershed areas with 20 miles of it."  ~ Clear Choices Clean Water
It is a serious matter with great cost to public health, the environment and to the economy. So, how can we do a better job disposing of it?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The TNR Debate - What's not to like?

I was watching a cat strolling down my street recently and it occurred to me that this is so normalized that we take no more notice of it than we would if it were a squirrel. At the same time I thought that if it had been a dog on the loose, several neighbors would have called animal control and at least one would have rushed outside to stop the dog and then gone door-to-door to find its owner.

Another important difference in that scenario is that animal control does respond to a calls about dogs at large.  Dogs are picked up and taken to shelters and reunited with their owners after the owner pays a fine for allowing their dog to be at large. Animal control is able to find dog owners by information obtained from the dog's license tags.

Most municipalities don't have no-roaming/no-trespassing by-laws for cats so animal control has no mandate to pick them up when they are at large. In other words, the cat owner isn't breaking any laws by allowing their cat to roam outside so animal control has no cause to intervene. Many of the municipalities that have passed no-roaming/no-trespassing by-laws for cats still do not send animal control officers out to retrieve stray or injured cats but some will accept cats brought in to shelters by citizens who find them.

There are gaps in service for cats and some of those gaps are being filled by volunteer citizens who manage feral cat colonies. One of the ways that feral cat colony managers provide service to their communities is by operating trap-spay/neuter-return (TNR) programs.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter

Nanny wishes you a wonderful Easter.

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