The plague of dog poop

February 3, 2022

You might even call it a dog poop pandemic, since it’s everywhere and shows no signs of going away. There is no vaccine or mask to fight the poop pandemic. It just takes dog owners who are responsible for their pets. Unfortunately, there are more dogs than responsible owners these days and the dog poop plague is totally out of control.

A recent article in the Reno Gazette-Journal highlights this problem, and it is literally a problem for everyone, including the poop scofflaws themselves. Besides just being disgusting to find dog poop everywhere, there are some very real health hazzards involved. The main problems are polluting our streams and groundwater with pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and excess nutrients that lead to harmful algae blooms in waterways. Hey, I’m talking about the water we drink. To quote the article, “it’s an owner’s duty to pick up their pet’s doody.”

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, 1/25/22.

Here is a re-post of my previous article about this poopy pollution problem, which is entirely preventable.


It’s the law – leash your dog and scoop its poop

Despite what many dog owners seem to think, public parks and trails in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County are not places to let dogs run leash-free and poop at will. Not only is rude, inconsiderate and hazardous for all involved, it is against the law. Refer to the Washoe County Code, Chapter 55, Sections 55.100 and 55.130 for regulations regarding restraining animals and disposing of their waste.

If you let your dogs run free in public parks and on trails within Washoe County’s designated animal congested areas, you are asking for trouble. Not only is it illegal, you are likely to get sued if your animal bites someone or is the direct cause of any other injury. You also might find your dog injured by someone defending themselves from a threatening, unleashed dog. And you might get injured yourself if you attack a person for hurting your dog while defending themselves. This will also bring in Washoe County animal control and law enforcement officers so you can give them your excuses for illegally letting your unleased dog threaten and possibly attack someone. You have absolutely no right to allow your dog to annoy in any way other people visiting public parks and trails.

Clean up your dog poop
You are legally required to pick up and properly dispose of your dog’s poop unless it’s in your own yard, where you can let the dog poop anywhere and walk in it all you want. However, it’s part of your responsibility to scoop the poop if you take your dog to public places. Too many dog owners simply let the poop lie, making some parks and trails pretty disgusting. It would be nice if you consider other people who want to enjoy places belonging to all of us.

You and your dog may love each other and get along fine, but other people do not know you or your dog. Your excuses mean nothing when others are threatened by the approach your loose dog.

  • “He/she is friendly and just wants to say Hi.” Other people don’t know if your dog is friendly or not and they might not want to say Hi. They also might not want to be licked, jumped on, knocked down, or have a dog nose shoved in their crotch.
  • “My dog won’t bite.” How would other people know that, especially if the dog is growling and barking at them? Truth is, you don’t know if your dog will bite or not, especially if it is not under your control. If it has teeth, it can bite.
  • “Don’t do that, you’re just upsetting my dog.” If someone assuming a defensive posture upsets your dog, you should leash it and keep it away from other people.

This situation is out of control. I hike on public trails within the animal congested area zone and frequently have unpleasant encounters with unleashed dogs and their owners. Somehow, most of them think it’s my fault that they are breaking the law and get hostile when I have the audacity to object to being approached by snarling, barking dogs. I now hike armed with trekking poles and a big canister of pepper spray and will not hesitate to use them. I carry a cell phone and will call Animal Control officers if I encounter loose dogs. If I am injured, I will sue and you will lose.

To let your dog run leash-free in a public park, take it to one of several dog parks in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. These places were created specifically to let dog owners enjoy their animals while not annoying or threatening other park visitors – use them.

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the ground. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer is preventable and the only way to know if a home has elevated levels is to test.

Free radon test kits are easy to use and available through February, 2022, at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices around the state. Nevadans are encouraged to take advantage of this free offer to test their homes for this dangerous gas. If radon is detected, there are fairly inexpensive ways to reduce the radon exposure to safe levels.

Visit “Radon Hazard in Reno Area Homes and Businesses” for a list of locations where free test kits are available around Reno and Nevada. If you can’t get to a location to pick up a kit, there is information about how to order one through the mail.

Learn more from “Radon Hazard in Reno Area Homes and Businesses.” Check this Nevada Statewide Radon Potential map and you’ll see that Reno and much of the surrounding area are among the highest risk zones.

Home heating season is here in Washoe County. For lots of people, that means lighting up the fireplace or woodstove when the temperature nips down. When doing so, however, residents need to pay attention to the burn code, which lets us know if using wood-burning fireplaces and stoves is allowed, discouraged or prohibited. The goal is to maintain healthy air quality for all residents.

The burn code is administered by the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) Air Quality Management Division (AQMD). The “Green, Yellow, Red Burn Code” program applies to specific zip codes from Washoe Valley extending up to, and including, Silver Knolls. The code addresses all solid fuels including wood, pellets and fire logs. Burning coal and garbage is prohibited.

The code can change on a daily basis. To learn the current code, follow AQMD on Twitter or Facebook, or watch local TV meteorologists and/or check the newspaper.

Burn code, Washoe County, Nevada, NV