In an effort to educate pet owners on the importance of cleaning up after their dogs, the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (aPaws) has created International Pooper Scooper Week., April 1-7.
aPaws reports that the American Pet Association estimates that this country's 71 million dogs produce more than 4.4 BILLION pounds of waste per year - enough to cover 900 football fields with 12 inches of dog waste.
aPaws says dog poo is more than just a nuisance - pet waste can pose a serious health hazard. A number of common parasites, including roundworm, are 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 can make humans extremely sick, and for pregnant women - can pose a serious harm to their unborn child.
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