Fido may be mean to the cat, or may bite the postman from time to time, but he’s great with kids and is fun to be around. That is, until you need to pick up after him after he does number 2. You may leave it there at the risk of getting fined, but there’s something more sinister about leaving behind Fido’s poop, according to a scientist from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A research geneticist from the EPA, Orin Shanks, and his colleagues discovered 11 genetic markers unique to canine excrement, making it possible for scientists to assess the environmental impact of dogs heeding nature’s call. They collected storm water near a garden frequented by pooping pooches and found too much success in tracing their feces. The water will eventually find its way underground and into your local drinking supply’s aquifer. Needless to say, the problem is not just all bark, it really bites.
The issue has caught on in some parts of the US. In fact, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary just recently selected Philly Water’s Best Friend Spokesdog to bark against the dangers of leaving dog doo lying around.
But with so many sources of pollution in our air and water, what makes us so sure that we aren’t barking up the wrong tree? With the methods that the EPA folks are coming out with, genetic tracers and all, you’ll have one less excuse not to pick up your pooch’s poo.