Pick up after your dog: ‘There is no dog poop fairy’

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Colorado is known as a dog-loving state, but with more dogs moving in, there is a big problem piling up.

Under Colorado law, dog owners must clean up their pet's wase and not everyone does.

“Because of the sheer number of pets in suburban communities, this hard dog waste accumulates,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.

Jefferson County Animal Control said it has been dealing with the waste problem for years because it is hard to enforce.

“A lot of dog owners think that the poop 'just goes away,' the post said.

So, Jefferson County came up with a campaign to try to poke fun at the serious topic to try to get more dog owners to follow the rules.

It’s called, “There is no poop fairy: Please clean up after your dog.” It put together a video several years ago that it reposted Sunday.

“I mean, I’ve heard of the tooth fairy, but I’m not sure about the poop fairy,” Lakewood resident Dave Campbell said.

While most dog owners have never heard of the mythical figure, they said they wished it was real.

“There’s just poop everywhere. A lot of people let their dogs go,” Ernest Arello said.

“Pretty much all the time. The worst is on the sidewalks,” Emma Gage said.

Not only is dog feces unpleasant to look at and smell, it can also make people and other dogs sick. Dog waste contains harmful bacteria and parasites such as E. coli, giardia and salmonella that pets or people can pick up if they come in contact with it.

Bacteria from dog waste can also contaminate groundwater and bodies of water such as creeks, rivers and lakes. People who swim in contaminated water can become sick.

Dog waste also does not biodegrade as quickly as other animal waste. Because of the type of food that dogs eat, dog waste can take up to a year to decompose. The more hard waste left behind, the more it accumulates.

In Jefferson County, failure to clean up dog waste from a public space carries a fine of at least $30.

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