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Border ColliesSpring has sprung, and as the temperature begins to warm, many of us are finding our doors, windows and lawns open once again so that we can enjoy the fresh air. But for dog owners, there is one more task to be completed before firing up the grill and taking advantage of our green grasses – poop scooping duty.

Picking up after a pet is an unpleasant and time consuming chore that is easily overlooked – especially during the winter. Come spring time, however, clearing the mine fields an absolute must.

While many of us don’t realize it, doggie deposits often carry parasites and bacteria that can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog waste and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years. How prevalent is roundworm? A recent CDC study found 14 percent of Americans tested positive for them.

The longer dog waste stays on the ground, the greater a contamination becomes. During the winter months, dog waste and all of the bacteria, worms and other parasites living in it freeze along with the ground. Once it thaws, the floodgates open, washing everything away into the water supply.

The EPA estimates that two or three days worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.

The most responsible action people can take for their family and community is to pick up after their pets. But between balancing family, demanding work schedules and increasingly long commutes, it can be hard. Pet owners who don’t have enough time to deal with the mess themselves, or simply don’t want to, should consider hiring a local pet waste removal service.

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