More than unsightly unhealthy
BRECKENRIDGE The spring thaw is here, and the echoes of many a “call of nature” for the county’s canine population are now being heard and smelled. Given rebirth by the receding snow, dog feces can pose a threat not only to fine summer footwear, but also to the health of the community.Feces may contain any number of bacteria, viruses, or parasitic microorganisms including Toxocariasis (round worm), tapeworm, Cryptosporidium, Salmonellosis, Giardia, Parvovirus, Poliovirus, Conjunctivitus and Chlamydia trachomatis. Transferred to humans and dogs by flies, ingestion and migration inside homes on the soles of the town’s Birkenstocks, these parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, liver inflammation, visual impairment, abdominal pain, kidney damage and blindness. However, High Country climates do not promote these. “We do have fewer microorganisms here, and they live less time due to the cold,” said Nancy Ring, executive director at the Summit County Animal Shelter.According to county ordinance, “It is unlawful for any Owner to permit the accumulation of a Pet Animal’s feces on the property on which the Animal is kept such that it is detectable visually or odoriferously by neighbors.” Owners can be charged a $50 fine for their first offense. “The public at-large is going to be more tolerant than those who are not pet owners,” Ring said. Kelly Graham, Breckenridge town events assistant, urges everyone to do their “doodie” for their community by tackling the problem at a grassroots level. Begun five years ago by local police in response to complaints about neighborhood odor, the annual Carter Park Poop Scoop will take place this year at 6 p.m. on May 17. The event provides participants with not only a bucket and scooper, but also the opportunity to socialize and enjoy refreshments, pizza and giveaways. “Yes, you’re picking up poop,” Graham said. “… But you can meet other dog lovers, and it is not labor intensive.” Sponsored by the Breckenridge Barkery and the Huneck Gallery, free T-shirts will be given to the first 40 “super-poopers” to join the feces-fighting force. “We are a dog-loving community,” Graham said. “And very lucky to have a dog-friendly park. It is a privilege, not a right.”Carter Park is located next to the Breckenridge Upper Elementary School, and is also used by many different groups in the community. For this reason Graham asks anyone with any interest in Carter Park to lend a hand, and get the inside scoop on how to make the world a cleaner place.
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