District sponsors "Pooches for the Planet" to help prevent water pollution

News Release

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board has teamed up with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Pinellas County Animal Services, and the Humane Society of Pinellas to sponsor "Pooches for the Planet," which kicks off with an event this weekend.

Started by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the campaign promotes proper disposal of dog waste to prevent water pollution. Just like human waste, dog waste poses a threat to both public health and water quality. It contributes harmful bacteria that can make people ill. It also contains excessive nutrients that cause algal blooms that rob water of oxygen needed to support fish and other marine life.

Every day in Pinellas County, an estimated 12-28 tons of dog waste is left on the ground. Unfortunately, this waste does not stay on the grass but is washed down storm drains and delivered untreated to the closest waterway.

Special $25 gift certificates to PETCO will be offered to the first five people who adopt a dog during the event kick-off on Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pinellas County Animal Services shelter in Largo.

"Pooches for the Planet" partners hope to encourage responsible pet ownership through a three-month promotion with the two animal shelters. From November through January, anyone who adopts a dog from the county or Humane Society shelters will receive an eco-friendly "Pooches for the Planet" reusable shopping bag filled with valuable goodies, including:
• A Bags on Board pet waste bag dispenser that clips to a leash
• A listing of county dog parks
• An immunization schedule card
• Discount coupons for a variety of pet services
• Treats, toys and other items donated by generous local and national pet
care companies

For more information about Pooches for the Planet visit www.tbep.org/help/scoop.html

Pinellas County Animal Services is located at 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774. For more information and hours, visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/

The Humane Society of Pinellas is located at 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater, FL 33759. For more information and hours visit http://humanesocietyofpinellas.org/