A War in the Neighborhood
A war is about to start in my neighborhood, the same war that is being fought in neighborhoods around the world. There is a public footpath across the road from where I live. This path is used by runners, mothers pushing prams, children on their bicycles and people walking their dogs. My daughter and I walk along the path to get to the playground in the local park. But getting to the park has become a hazard because if we don’t walk with our eyes concentrated on the ground, chances are we will step in dog poo. It is everywhere and I’m sick of it. Yes, it’s against the law to not pick up after your dog and yes, if you’re caught you could be fined a nominal sum, but no-one is watching, so owners continue to flout the law and leave their dog’s mess for everyone to step in. Well not anymore, because I’m on a mission to clean up the neighborhood and it starts now.
Allowing a dog to foul a public area and not clearing up after it poses a serious health risk to humans and other dogs. Diseases can be passed through a dog’s intestinal tract and into the feces. These diseases can cause debilitating illnesses in dogs and humans and in some cases can be fatal.
Here are just a few of them:
- Adenovirus – a viral disease in dogs that can damage the liver and kidneys. Can cause convulsions, jaundice, bleeding from orifices and even death.
- Parvovirus – a viral disease causing vomiting, diarrhea, immunosuppression and in many cases can be fatal. This disease is particularly dangerous in puppies.
- Giardia – a parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract and causes diarrhea
- Coccida – a parasite that causes diarrhea
- Tapeworm, Whipworm, Hookworm – worms that live off the intestinal tract causing illness such as vomiting diarrhea and anemia.
- Toxicariaosis - can cause blindness, particularly in children who come into contact with an infected stool while playing and inadvertently putting their fingers in their mouths.
- E-coli – can cause urinary tract infections in humans, meningitis, peritonitis, mastitis, septicemia, pneumonia, severe vomiting and diarrhea and in few cases even death.
Fortunately modern-day vaccinations can protect your dog from some of these diseases but for others there is no protection.
So what is to be done? First I will write to the local authorities. We need more notices, bins and bag dispensaries to make picking up poo more palatable. If this doesn’t happen I will have to put up my own signs – they just might not be so diplomatic. If that fails I might have to keep watch with my video camera ready to pounce on any offender. Seriously taking action is only half the battle as some dog owners need a big kick up the backside. It just remains to say, for all of those who pick up their dog’s poo – thanks and blessings. For those who don’t – shame on you. Be warned – next time I might be watching.
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