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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

pet waste The Scoop on “Dog Doogity” and dog waste in our waters

Polluted stormwater runoff is the leading water pollution problem in our state’s most populated areas. When it rains, pollution on the land washes downstream, moving that pollution along into our waters.

Regulations alone cannot keep Washington’s waters, including Puget Sound, pollution-free. We have learned that people will generally do their part to change their behaviors and prevent pollution if they have an awareness of the problem, and if they know what to do.

By far, the least expensive way to fight pollution is to prevent it in the first place. Cleaning our waters is much more costly. Pollution problems in the Spokane River, and in many parts of Puget Sound, are good examples of how expensive cleanup can be.

One simple thing that many of us can do to help keep Washington waters clean and germ-free is to “scoop the poop, bag it, trash it” when walking our dogs. There are an estimated 1.2 million dogs in the Puget Sound region. One of the ways Washington communities are educating their residents about pet waste and pollution is the very successful recent “Dog Doogity” video, produced by a consortium of 81 cities and counties around Puget Sound, calling themselves STORM.

The $27,000 for this video project is funded from a dedicated environmental account approved by Washington voters when they passed Initiative 97, the Model Toxics Control Act, in 1988. This money isn’t from general taxpayer funds. This particular fund, the Local Toxics Account, provides funding to local communities to help them develop local stormwater programs that meet local needs.

The 81 STORM communities developed their “Dog Doogity” video specifically to serve their local needs as municipal stormwater permittees. Research showed them that most people think they aren’t supposed to put pet waste in the trash. The STORM communities decided to overcome that barrier by reaching dog owners with a video encouraging them to “scoop it, bag it, trash it.”

On a per-community basis, “Dog Doogity” cost each of the 81 Puget Sound municipalities just $334 from environmental grant funding to reach tens of thousands of individual dog owners with information they can use.

Additional Resources

ECOconnect blog:
    - Dog Doogity: A good return on the state’s investment

    - Dog poop solution: It’s in the bag

Pacific Shellfish Institute's brochure: "Pet Waste: What's the problem?"

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RESOURCES

VIDEOS:

NEW! 07/08/2011 "Dog Doogity" Dog Poop for ScoopPoop.org

Puget Sound Starts Here: pet poop television ad