Dog-poop bacteria found in air over Detroit, Cleveland


CU-Boulder study: Dog-poop bacteria found in air over Detroit, Cleveland


Camera staff

Posted: 08/18/2011 12:17:56 PM MDT


Bacteria from dog waste may be the dominant source of airborne bacteria in the wintertime air over Cleveland and Detroit, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado.

The scientists were studying the bacterial communities found in 100 air samples previously collected by Colorado State University for an earlier study when they found that the samples from Cleveland and Detroit contained significant amounts of fecal bacteria, the most likely source of which is dog poop.

The research was published in the journal Applied Environmental Microbiology.

Scientists have known that bacteria exists in the atmosphere and that they can have detrimental effects on human health, triggering allergic asthma and seasonal allergies. But researchers are just beginning to understand how diverse airborne bacteria can be.


Council hit the streets to help stop dog fouling

Council hit the streets to help stop dog fouling

CONSIDERATE and selfish dog owners beware – a new crackdown has been launched against those who let their four-legged friends to foul in public and don’t pick it up.

Over the last 11 months, a staggering 34 tonnes of dog mess has been collected by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare staff.

The majority of that mess was collected from the dog waste bins installed in communities across the county borough.

But far too much of it was scooped up from streets, pavements, open spaces, town centres and even parks, which is disgusting, dangerous and illegal.

Dog fouling in Rhondda Cynon Taf is seen as a major problem, and the council is launching a new campaign in a bid to stamp out this revolting issue.

The new campaign uses posters, adverts and radio campaigns featuring green hero Rhys Cycle and Dr Clean. The pair follow a dog fouling incident into the future to see just how harmful dog waste can be to the local community.

Dog waste is not only unsightly and messy, it can have serious health implications for children and adults alike, including toxocariasis. Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The parasites eggs can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months - or sometimes a lifetime.

Symptoms include eye disorders, blindness, aches, dizziness, nausea, asthma and epileptic fits.

Failure to clean up after your dog could result in a hefty fine of at least £75, a criminal record or even worse you could endanger the life of others.

The council’s Streetcare Enforcement and Awareness Officers regularly patrol the streets looking for eco-offenders and have heard various feeble excuses for allowing pets to foul in public.

Under the dog fouling act of 1996, owners have to be in control of their pets and remove any mess left in the open air – whether it’s in a playing field, a pavement or a neighbour’s garden.

The council’s deputy leader, Coun Anthony Christopher, said: “We are very fortunate to have such a proactive and enthusiastic Streetcare Team who remain committed to using innovative schemes and initiatives to combat these blights on our towns and villages.”

The council provides specific bins near dog walking routes. If there is no bin on your route it is your responsibility to take it home with you for disposal.

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PoopPac Dog Walkers Case; The Right Product at The Right Time

Research, and the tremendous interest shown in PoopPac thus far from the UK, Canada,  Mexico, Japan and Australia have already shown PoopPac has international appeal.  Today dog waste management is a very hot topic; it is controversial and political both domestically and internationally.  The subject of managing dog waste and related stories appears in the main media outlets daily.  As such the PoopPac Dog Walkers Waste Case is the right product at the right time and offers a great business opportunity.

So why has this become such a topical subject recently? In a relatively short period of time we have gone from most dogs living in a household with surrounding land or a garden/yard in which they have been trained to use a particular area of the grounds as their toilet, to more and more dogs moving in with smaller households in urban communities where many now live in apartments, or homes with small yards that do not lend themselves as a place large enough to exercise dogs.  Also increasingly dogs have become much closer human companions, often regarded as a member of the household and as such traveling extensively with their guardians on all trips outside of the home, including trips to the store, restaurant and just about everywhere their guardian goes.  This mobility, combined with restricted home environments has born an increasing necessity to provide solutions for dog waste management. Add to this the ever increasing dog population and it is apparent why pet waste management is a growing business sector.

Today there are an estimated 78.2 million domestic dogs here in the USA (1) and this number is increasing annually, correlating closely to the number of households in the USA.    
78.2 million dogs are a lot of dogs!  To help put this in perspective the estimated resident population of the UK (United Kingdom) was 61.8 million people in mid-2009. Visualizing the population of the UK and correlating that with the number of dogs in the US really brings home the fact that if a significant percentage of our dog owning population do not follow recommended dog waste management etiquette we will all be in quite a mess, literally!

Most people agree that public parks, walk ways and trails are not public bathrooms for people.  Today this statement needs to also apply to dogs due to the sheer number of dogs we now have in our communities.  There is no doubt that the evolution of pet waste management can be likened to the evolution of our own waste management and litter management, in that as the challenges grow the solutions will follow and in the future communities will be designed to include the proper facilities to manage and disposal of pet waste.  However in the meantime, despite the differing policies of different cities ‘all’ dog owners need to take personal responsibility for their dog’s waste disposal.

So what options are available? It is acknowledged that dogs like people can be potty trained.  Also dogs, like people, cannot always hold it in until they get home and thus public toilets/facilities for dogs do need to be provided.  To this end there are a growing number of dog parks, or areas designated within a park especially for dogs and these areas contain facilities to handle dog waste.  Many parks that do not have designated dog areas do provide public waste bins and waste bags for dog owners who may occasionally get caught in need; but this is a public courtesy to help maintain the public spaces and should not be seen as a cart blanche pass to use the public space as a dogs regular toilet spot, or a place to get ‘free’ bags from the dispenser by the handful to use elsewhere.  

Manufacturers have designed numerous tools to help with pet waste management both in and around the home, in the yard as well as for parks and public areas that cater to dogs. However for those that walk their dogs in areas that do not have pet waste facilities the main reason people cite for not disposing of their pets waste is either they didn’t have a bag, or more frequently they ‘bagged it’ but there was nowhere to ‘put it’ so the left it, bagged, on the ground.

Understandably a fresh package is messy, smelly and unhygienic; it is not a package one wants to carry around with them as it not only ties up their hand with this task, but with the thin bags accidents do happen. Add to this the person multitasking; needing to manage other items, perhaps also have young children, dogs, coffee, newspaper etc. also in their hands… you get the picture.  With these challenges in mind PoopPac Dog Waste Case is designed to carry used dog waste bags safely, hygienically, and to conceal all odors until a proper waste facility is available. The case also carries and dispenses unused waste bags.  This tool is a perfect solution for those challenged in walking in areas without adequate facilities and aids the user in effortlessly and conveniently contributing to proper pet waste management, whilst leaving them hands free to enjoy their walk, and without the distraction of trying to dispose to the package as quickly as possible. 
The PoopPac Dog Walkers Case is a great solution to the many challenges cited as reasons some dog walkers still neglect to take responsibility for their pet wastes unnecessary negative impact on our environment.

  (1) The APPA (American Pet Products Assoc.) has been tracking statistics on the pet industry, including the number of pets per household since 1988.  In 2002 the US had approximately 109.3 households of which 36.59% were dog owners.  These 40 million households had a total of 68 million dogs, giving an average of 1.7 dogs per households with dog.  In 2011 we have an estimated 117.6 million households in the US of which 39.37% are households with dogs totaling an estimated 78.2 million dog’s

Bringing the idea to Fruition...

I joined IWI (Inventors Workshop International, as referenced in my last post) in May 2009 and with their guidance I began the process of checking on patents, trademarks, names, copyrights etc. and learning about these subjects. In June 2009 I entered into an agreement with the manufacturer to start working on my CAD drawings so that we could finalize a design and thus produce an estimate for the cost to make a prototype of the case.

With my business plan completed, projected costs calculated, patent research results returned and PoopPac still looking like a viable proposition, in November 2009 I commissioned the manufacturer to go ahead with the prototype. Prototyping went exceedingly well, and we had a PoopPac ready for field market research by January 2010.

However it was not all plain sailing. We hit the 'common' hurdle found in many 'construction jobs' involving materials and labor. By the time our perfect little PoopPac was ready to meet the world we were over budget. I was initially incredibly disappointed (actually a mini meltdown, as you can probably imagine) as I had worked so hard during every meeting with the manufacture to ensure we were keeping the case within the agreed price point but alas the final tally was off (how could this be? I was working with experienced, seasoned professionals...)!

The truth of the matter is we had designed an excellent product, and using the highest quality materials and fine attention to detail we had a wonderful case that we were all very proud of. The problem was the case was not going to be joining the world of high end designer handbags and luggage with great 'brand' recognition. It was a case designed specifically to carry dog waste, to be launched by a new business, on a budget, and with out a comparable product on the market to compare it next to. Thus I felt it would be a very price sensitive product, especially as we were bringing something new to market (being a case to carry pet waste). However once you have 'the perfect case' it is very difficult to start stripping back some of the features to bring the manufacturing costs down, so I decided to go with PoopPac 'Original' knowing I would need to release PoopPac 'Basic' as well, if my business model was to have any chance of being financially viable.

In England we have the saying 'in for a penny, in for a pound'. PoopPac had turned out so well, and the whole team at our manufactures were so excited about our little PoopPac that we decided to go the full distance and build PoopPac 'Lux'; the result-gorgeous! Now would anyone pay the price required for PoopPac Lux? Who knows, but we made it and we love it so there you have it!

My learning curve on this part of my journey was that with the best will in the world, you will go over budget. Working with top designers and crafts people (our manufacturers are recognized as one if the leading designers and manufactures of thermoformed cases in the USA) your team are going for the 'award wining design' the 'perfect' product, and the price point sensitivity is perhaps not quite as sharp to them as to me, the one who has to sell the item... We've all been there; the budget for the house remodel, the 'dress' for the occasion, the 'most' we can spend on a gift... So now I know to build in a cushion and tell NO ONE the cushion is there. Hmm but I would know! OK, note to self; chances are, if designing a product from scratch, you will go over budget - period.