Picking up dog waste mandatory

I am responding to the May 17 letter about the dog poop on the Airport Trail, “Lazy humans must pick up after dogs”:

I imagine this will come as a big surprise to the slackers who cannot clean up after their dogs, but Arlington does have an ordinance on the books.

8.09.040 Animal Waste on Publicly Owned Property or Property Not Belonging to the Owner.

It is unlawful for an owner of an animal to:

(a) Fail to remove fecal matter deposited by the animal on public playgrounds, lawn areas and sidewalks, parks or other publicly owned land before the owner leaves the immediate area where the fecal matter was deposited.

There are four more items to this ordinance so if anyone is interested they can look them up.

People do not understand the harm their dog’s waste causes. Why is the Stillaguamish one of the rivers in Snohomish County with poor water quality? Dog poop left in backyards, road sides, trails — anywhere. The poop gets washed by the rains into ditches, streams and into the Stilly and ultimately into Puget Sound.

This is not a joke, it is serious business. The bacteria in dog poop includes E. coli, hookworms, salmonella, roundworm and giardia. Another consideration, children play in the stream behind my house, which if tested, I believe would rate very high in these bacteria. The cow manure and dog waste being washed into the stream when it rains and the sediment stirred up when the children wade in the stream does not seem to me to be desirable.

I am sure the Arlington Police Department does not have time to patrol looking for people who do not pick up dog poop, but if they see it and are so inclined they can indeed fine the owner. One person has already been fined in a development (Gleneagle) within the Arlington city limits.

Judy Ness