I guess there’s now a week for absolutely everything. aPaws, the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (no, I’m not making this up) has declared April 1-7 to be International Pooper Scooper Week. The overlap with April Fool’s Day is apparently just a coincidence.  This group was formed in 2002 in recognition of "the growing problem in our communities, environment and water tables" associated with, yes, dog poop.

The American Pet Association estimates that over 4.4 billion pounds of poop are produced by the some-71-million dogs in the US each year. That’s enough to cover 900 football fields with 12 inches of dog waste. (That is some deep do-do!)  Dog feces can contain a wide variety of bacteria and parasites, some of which can infect other dogs, and some of which can also infect people. The risk to people and other animals is greatly reduced by prompt removal of feces and proper disposal (i.e. stoop and scoop). It’s a pretty simple concept: if your pet poops outside, pick it up. Use a plastic bag, seal it, deposit it in the garbage, then wash your hands (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re out for a long walk and there’s no sink handy). Most people are conscientious about this, but one look around most parks will show you that not everyone is (and unfortunately that can give those of us who do stoop and scoop a bad name!).

Photo source: http://www.freewebs.com/pooridder/