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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

pet waste Dog poop - Guidance

Is dog poop part of the water quality problem in your area? Here are some tools and ideas that might help.

Tools to use

Need a poster about the problem with pet waste? How about a flier or fact sheet? Download these and customize them to include your contact information. Print them back-to-back or separately.

Ideas for you

Posters and fact sheets can’t get the job done alone. Here are some more tips on how to promote watershed protection. Use messages that fit your audience. Highlight benefits and minimize barriers —offer products and services, promote messages in places people go and develop partnerships. Some related messages

  • Dog poop is a water quality problem.
  • It’s easy to scoop and toss into the trash.
  • Scooping after your dog prevents exposing your children to viruses and bacteria.
  • City ordinances exist. If your community has associated ordinances or fines, post them!
  • We all want cleaner spaces and safer, cleaner yards.
  • A survey by the American Veterinary Medicine Association found that 39.9 percent of Washington State households own dogs, with an average of 1.6 dogs for each dog-owning household. With 2.5 million households in our state, that adds up to about 1.6 million dogs. That means hundreds of tons of new dog poop every day!
  • Put it in the garbage.
  • Regular scooping cuts down on pet poop on little and big shoes!

Ways to get your message out

On products or with services:

  • Garbage cans that display the message.
  • Put more bags/receptacles in public places.
  • Offer bag holders for leashes.

In places people go:

  • Pet stores.
  • Vet office. Get to know your local vets and vet techs and ask them to share your messages with pet owners.
  • Humane society or local animal shelters.
  • Parks, rest areas, schools, playfields, marinas, etc.

Through media and message carriers:

  • Retail bags – message on the bag “ use this to scoop…” , pet stores.
  • Newspaper bags.
  • Garbage can signs — “pet waste welcome here.”
  • TV.
  • Poop flagging.
  • Tip card.
  • Website.

With partners:

  • Veterinarians.
  • Community groups — station installation.
  • Pet stores — poster signs.
  • Maintenance crews (city, county, etc.) in maintaining the stations.

Motivating change

Use tools and methods that help people participate. These should help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

  • Fines—post them.
  • Discount on home pick-up services.

More resources

Snohomish county 

Pacific Shellfish Institute

 get the Washington Waters logo



Links to all the posters and factsheets for all three regional campaigns



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