Do no harm and dog poop / by kevin murray

America loves its pets, and about 90 million dogs live in America, and just as humans must defecate their waste matter, so do dogs.  Unfortunately, dogs in most instances are going to defecate somewhere outdoors, as opposed to being able to use a toilet indoors; so that due to the sheer number of dogs, a concerted effort in recent years has made it incumbent upon dog owners that a good dog owner, picks up after their dog.  To the point of why this is considered to be necessary besides the rather obvious reasons, is the fact that dog excrement can be a source of hookworms, tapeworms, threadworms and roundworms, along with the possibility of contaminating streams and waterways.  These potentials ills can be and have been transferred to humans via dog excrement, and the humans that are most vulnerable to such, are those with compromised immune system, and babies.


For the most part, in many communities, there isn't any mandated away or approach as to how to collect dog poop, though most people within their community typically utilize a dark plastic bag to collect the feces.  That, in of itself, is perhaps misguided, as plastic is vilified for its inability to properly decompose.  Additionally, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to collect dog poop, only to dispose of it inside a plastic bag, then, into a regular trashcan, and thereby these no-decomposing poop bags are subject to producing methane gas in a landfill, which isn't beneficial to anyone.  Instead, some people have turned to utilizing bags that are designed for compost, but compost, itself, in order to function correctly, needs more than just dog poop.


The main problem with dog poop isn't so much that not enough people are picking up after their dogs, though, some do not, but rather that, most people, not too surprisingly, after scooping up the poop, are eager to get rid of it; so that, it becomes something akin to out of sight, therefore out of mind.  The next step in regards to the appropriate disposal of dog poop, is to enhance the mindset to such an extent, that more people will dispose of their dog poop into separate containers, specifically set aside for dog excrement, which are then separately collected by an enterprise so as to ultimately create some sort of self-sustaining biogas energy from that excrement, rather than simply trying to get such to disappear.  Done correctly, everyone comes out ahead.


Then, there is also the issue of some people that get completely bent out of shape, when an irresponsible dog owner doesn't collect their dogs' excrement.  While this is unfortunate, there is never going to be 100% compliance in the first place, and most communities have laws that already are applicable for this very thing.  Further to the point, what somehow is missing from the equation, is that, there are millions upon millions of animals, of the air, of the sea, and of the ground that poop all of the time, of which, somehow, the ebb and flow of nature, are able to handle this effluence in a competent manner.  This would signify that the main thing is to jointly do our best, as well as to do no harm.