Cats and dogs
A waste issue
So feral cat waste is a problem. If we want to destroy them, should we not also get rid of the rats and mongoose? But don’t forget dogs, dog feces are more than just a nuisance, they can also pose a serious health hazard.
A number of common parasites, including round worm, are also transmitted via dog feces. When infected dog droppings are left on the ground, the eggs of the roundworms and other parasites can linger in the soil for years. As a result, anyone who comes in contact with the soil also comes in contact with the infected eggs. Children run the greatest risk of infection because they’re prone to play in the dirt at the park or playground and then put their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes with their hands. But even a group of teens or adults playing Frisbee or touch football in an open area could be in danger.
Parasitic infections from dogs can also make humans extremely sick, and for pregnant women, can also create serious harm to their unborn child.
Some of the more common waste-borne diseases and their symptoms are:
c Camplyobacteriosis — A bacterial infection carried by dogs and cats that frequently causes diarrhea in humans.
c Cryptosporidium — A protozoan parasite carried by dogs, cats, mice, and many other mammals. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and dehydration. May be fatal to people with weak immune systems.
c Salmonellosis — Symptoms including fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea.
c Toxocariasis — Roundworms usually transmitted from dogs to humans, often without noticeable symptoms, that may cause a rash, fever, and cough or vision loss.
Dog waste left on sidewalks and grassy areas is washed into storm drains or washed directly to waterways by rain or melting snow. Contrary to what many people think, runoff channeled through storm drains does not go to a sewage treatment plant. Storm drains channel polluted runoff carrying many contaminants, including pet waste, directly into our local waterways and the ocean.
Dog waste contains excess nutrients and disease-causing organisms, which make water unsafe for swimming or drinking. When there’s too much bacteria in the water, both people and pets can get sick from swimming and wading in the water. Health officials routinely close beaches to swimming when bacteria counts spike.
It has been estimated a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay or an ocean, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing. Dog feces are one of the most common carriers of the following diseases: heartworms; whipworms; hookworms; roundworms; tapeworms; parvo; corona; giardiasis; salmonellosis; cryptosporidiosis; and campylobacteriosis.
So let’s not just look to the cats (there because of irresponsible humans who do not neuter them, tire of them, and abandon them). Let us consider the entire problem of humans and their irresponsible behavior concerning pets. Let us also look to human over population, (meat farms for example, much more waste story here) and dog breeding, (or just irresponsible non-neutering ownership) which has brought the number of dogs in America to approximately 80 per 100 humans. The problem is much bigger than the feral cats at one park. Try a world view.