Canine clean-up

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Dog waste stations are spread throughout Downtown. PHOTO BY LOGAN LAMPHERE

Dog waste stations are spread throughout Downtown. PHOTO BY LOGAN LAMPHERE

We noticed you got that cute new puppy for Christmas! We also noticed that it must be the first time you’ve been a guardian of a dog in an urban downtown. How do we know this? Just look down on the sidewalk — or the bottom of my shoe!

We love our dogs in Downtown Orlando — you only have to walk around Lake Eola once to see nearly every breed known to man of man’s best friend. We also love taking Spot into bars, restaurants and shops with dedicated doggie dishes on dozens of doorsteps. What we don’t like is seeing poo on pavement.

From Lake Lucerne to Lake Eola Heights and from the Amway Center to Azalea Park, there’s been a rash of refuse in the last several months on the sidewalks and green spaces of Downtown Orlando.

Many dog-waste stations are scattered around Downtown, providing free, small plastic bags and lidded waste bins that help keep odors at bay. Don’t forget the dog park at Constitution Green as well, a popular new area to let Rover run free.

The city also says that “Unscooped pet waste is a source of water pollution and is a public health concern.” Orlando City code and Orange County Ordinance require you to pick up after your pet. So, it’s not just about courtesy, but it’s also about the law.

Orlando has a page on its official website that focuses on informing the public about cleaning up after pets. Upon entering the page, the slogan, “Love the dog, hate the poo,” welcomes visitors, as “Stop poo-llution” inscribed on a stop sign flanks it.

“Unscooped poop washes into storm drains, which drain directly to local lakes and water bodies, harming human health, wildlife and the environment,” Orlando’s website reads.

According to the EPA, decomposition of pet waste demands a high level of oxygen from water, reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen available to plants and animals, ultimately resulting in fish deaths. Pet waste adds excess nutrients, like those found in cow manure, to lakes, resulting in algae blooms. Other pollutants include pathogens, naturally toxic material and ammonia.

Help keep the City Beautiful, and please pick up after your pets, especially on sidewalks. streets-stormwater/education/stopthe poo-llution/

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