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Dog waste is raw sewage, NOT fertilizer. Harmful organisms from dog poop transmit readily to children and adults and can survive for months on the ground. Just one week of accumulated dog poop can host 700 BILLION bacteria. Mowing just spreads the contamination everywhere. Get the facts in this video (at right) demonstration and sign up for a FREE WEEK.

WATCH VIDEO: Is your yard incubating toxic waste?

Sgt. Poopers Takes The Pledge

At Sgt. Poopers we take the responsibility for animals and the environment seriously. Our mission is not just to keep lawns free from pet waste, but also to raise community awareness so that humans take full responsibility for animals and the environment we all share.

By keeping Dallas area yards clean and pet-waste free, Sgt. Poopers helps people and animals lead healthier, happier lives. And, we support animal rescue organizations to help less fortunate animals. For example, this hurricane season, Sgt. Poopers donated to the disaster relief funds of the Humane Society of the United States (“HSUS”) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”).

Sometimes when we see a story on the news about an abused animal, see a poster for a lost dog or cat, or hear about suffering caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters, we might think, “Oh, that’s sad, but I can’t do anything about it.”

The good news is, you can do something about it. Just like each one of us can do something to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth by taking simple steps such as cleaning up after our animals (or letting us do it for you!).

A great way to help is to volunteer at your local shelter or rescue group. Another fantastic way to help is to donate any amount you can spare to local and national rescue organizations. Believe it or not, every single dollar does make a difference in the lives of animals. Another, simple yet powerful way you can help is to take the ASPCA’s Pledge to Fight Animal Cruelty—just click the link below. If people work together, each of us does not shoulder the burden of animal welfare alone—we are empowered by others to do great things.

Sgt. Poopers took the pledge. Join us now and take the pledge yourself to fight animal cruelty and make the world a better place not just for us, but for the animals that depend on us.

 Take the Pledge to Fight Animal Cruelty

Highland Park's Dirty Little Secret

I haven’t walked throughout Highland Park, but one neighborhood I know of really needs help. 

Highland Park is the 3rd wealthiest location in Texas per capita income. This pristine gem of a town has some of Dallas' most beautiful real estate, best schools… and filthiest sidewalks. If you go for a walk on parts of Beverly, Princeton or Sewanee for example, you better burn your shoes. The side walks are decorated with dog poop. S'up with that?

The problem isn’t "everyone." The real problem is misinformation on the subject of dog waste management. The bottom line: If you let your dogs poop on the sidewalk, guess what? Fecal organisms spread across the surface and then hitch a ride into your home on the soles of your shoes. That’s not personal opinion, but hard science.

My question for residents of Highland Park is, do we really want “filthiest sidewalks and most germ ridden home flooring” on the list of Highland Park attributes?

Here are the facts: A study released in April 2008 by Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona investigated the role of shoes in the movement of bacteria from contaminated floor spaces to other surfaces. They found that when we walk upon a surface contaminated by fecal matter from dogs, bacteria adhere readily to shoes and hitch a ride into our homes.

Shockingly, they found that up to 99% of the bacteria traveled safely onto clean tile and carpets of kitchens, bedrooms and living areas. And if it's on the floor, it's on your feet and in your bed. Moreover, it’s on the hands and feet of any children in your home. Fact. Not fiction.

One gram of dog waste contains more than 20 million germs, bacteria, viruses, pathogens and parasites. And these disease agents remain alive and viable on the ground for years. Round worm eggs can remain viable for up to 3 years and maybe more.

In the University of Arizona study scientists gave volunteers a pair of clean new shoes and asked them to wear them for 2 weeks. At the end of that time, the shoes were taken to the lab for analysis. They found an average of 421,000 live bacteria on shoe soles. 27% was deadly E. Coli bacteria indicating frequent contact with fecal matter. Also detected was Klebsiella pneumonia, which can cause pneumonia and wound and bloodstream infections and Serratia ficaria, which can lead to infection of the respiratory tract. And as to the source, taking a walk on a poop-decorated sidewalk in Highland Park would do the trick.

Dr. Charles Gerba knows what he’s talking about. As a professor in the Departments of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (College of Agriculture), and Epidemiology and Biostatistics (College of Public Health) at the University of Arizona he knows germs. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Miami, Florida and was a faculty member in the Department of Virology and Epidemiology at Baylor College of Medicine from 1974 to 1981. In short, Chuck Gerba is the real deal.

Yeah, who knew? To emphasize, this is new information that nobody understood. It takes time for people to find out about things. And cultures in general take quite some time to change their filthy old ways.  That is called “culture lag.”

To wit, have you ever heard the strange and tragic story of Hungarian physician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis? Semmelweis is known today as a pioneer of antiseptic medicine and the “savior of mothers.” In 1847, he found that the cause of Puerperal fever (or Childbed fever) was lack of cleanliness. In hospital maternity wards in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, the mortality rate for young mothers soared as high as 25%.

Semmelweis discovered the cure: forcing doctors to wash their hands. As a result, he was not only ignored, criticized and ridiculed, but dismissed from his position as director of Vienna’s largest maternity hospital. 14 years later he began speaking out in open letters, going so far as to tell his fellow doctors that by refusing to wash their hands, they were in fact committing murder. For all his trouble, Semmelweis was incarcerated in a mental asylum and murdered by guards.

Years after his death, the medical community finally discovered “oops, he was right” and by simply washing their hands saved thousands of innocent young lives. Today, Semmelweis’s portrait graces postage stamps and gold coins.

If it took society decades to accept the fact that doctors can save lives simply by washing their hands, it is likely to take time before some pet owners realize they are putting the health of neighbors, children and pets at risk by leaving dog waste on the ground.

Here’s the happy-ending part: If some residents of Highland Park don't want to clean up their act, Sgt Poopers will be happy to do the job. Our customers include residential, commercial and home-owner associations.

The moral of our story: Dog waste is a biohazard and a pollutant. If you don’t pick it up, your shoes will.

Who Gives a Poop?

We Texans in general are misinformed on the subject of dog poop. When I mentioned to a Texas native that my wife and I owned a dog waste cleanup company in Dallas, she thought it was a great idea. Then she told me a story about the time she was walking her dog over at a school and someone told her to get the dog off the school grounds. The school defender told my friend that her dog was a "filthy animal" and shouldn't be allowed to poop on school grounds because children play there.

My friend was incensed. Not knowing my opinion on the subject, she told me, "I mean, dog poop is just fertilizer. When it's from a cow we put it on plants to make them grow." She didn't see anything wrong with letting her dog poop on school grounds where children play. It's a sad case of misinformation.

Fertilizer comes only from herbivores. Farmers themselves don't use dog poop for fertilizer. A) It has no nutritional value to plants because it is not made up of plant material. In other words, manure from cows is good for grass because it IS grass. B) Fecal organisms in dog waste can be absorbed by plants. Humans who eat those plants can become sick. So, while I do not agree that man's best friend is a "filthy animal," dog waste IS a genuine health hazard and the lists of diseases that can be transferred to humans by dog waste is long.

The problem isn't dog poop. The problem is misinformation.

Why I Scoop

Confessions of a Pet Waste Snob

When I first heard about the dog waste removal business, I thought its main value would be in removing the problem of doggie land mines. The hazards of dog poop, to me, meant the rigors of having to clean the bottoms of my running shoes with a stick. Growing up in Dallas, Texas I had never even heard of such a business.

However, I did remember when the invention of the Pooper Scooper arrived in the '70s. My best friend's family bought one and he had to use it once a week. I was amused. At my house, we never picked up dog poop. We believed it was just a natural part of the landscape that would dry up and just "disappear" and "become dirt" in a few days. It either dried out, got washed down, or mowed over.

Truthfully, I thought it was crazy that my best friend had to pick up dog poop. I chuckled about it. And when I saw the implement in his garage, I cringed. Dog poop, to me was just a minor environmental annoyance. I accepted it like I accepted yellow-jackets (wasps), droning cicadas and sidewalks so hot you couldn't walk on them bare-footed. It was a nuisance, but not one that required any action.

All that changed when I started researching the subject of dog waste removal.

I didn't know that dog waste was the fourth leading cause of water pollution, classified by the EPA as a non-source point pollutant. I didn't know that 1 gram of dog waste contained some 20 million bacteria, germs, viruses, pathogens and parasites. I didn't know that, according to a Univ. of Arizona study conducted this year, just by walking through grass contaminated by dog poop, your shoes pick up hundreds of thousands of germs, and more than 90% of those germs transfer to floors in your home. Creepy.

I didn't know all that. And for good reason: it was not until advances in DNA coding in the mid 1990s that researchers were able to trace the origin of fecal matter in our lakes and streams to their common source, man's best friend.

The problem isn't really our loving pets, of course. Its been the misconception of dog owners, like me. That misconception began to rear it's head almost from the start. Manning our booth at the Whiterock Lake Festival in May '08, we met plenty of people who readily admitted they thought dog poop was fertilizer.

It's a common misconception. Simply enough, fertilizer manure comes from animals that eat grass. The poop of herbivores consists of grass, so of course it is good for plants. Meat eaters, like humans and dogs, are different. You can't use their poop for fertilizer because it contains microbes by the billion. In fact, the Center for Disease Control warns that humans can get sick if they eat plants "fertilized" by dog waste because the plants can absorb the living microbes some of which take years to fully break down. Case in point, round worm eggs remain viable in the soil for 3 years and can infect humans or other dogs that come in contact with the soil.

And of course, the more you think about it, the more it all makes sense. For example, during recent floods authorities have made one thing very clear: don't drink the water. In fact, don't even step in it if possible. You can get infected if you have a cut anywhere on your skin. We have heard how it spread cholera, dysentery, and many other ills. And why is that water deadly? Fecal matter from humans and pets.

And so we started our public information campaign. We volunteered to do water testing in and around White Rock Lake and more. It's an important issue and one that every dog owner can do something about. Sgt Poopers® is committed to being the leader of the pack. Let's make Dallas a greener city.

Reasons to Scoop

  • Dog waste is NOT fertilizer. 
  • Dog waste is 100% toxic and has zero commercial value.
  • Dog waste contains 20 million germs per gram (1 gram = 1 kernel of corn).
  • Mowing dog waste contaminates your entire yard with trillions of live bacteria.
  • Parasites, germs, bacteria, pathogens & viruses in dog waste are harmful to humans.
  • Fecal bacteria stick to the bottoms of shoes and transfer readily to clean floors.
  • Fecal organisms can infect children, adults and other animals.
  • Roundworms and hookworms deposited by infected animals can live in the soil for long periods of time and can be transmitted to humans.
  • Storm water carries pet waste and bacteria directly into waterways.
  • Animal waste depletes the oxygen in the water and kills fish.
  • DFW's 1.2 million dogs deposit 900,000 lbs of toxic waste on the ground each day.

Service Area

We service Lakewood, the M-Streets, Preston Hollow, North Dallas, Bluff View, White Rock Lake, Old Lake Highlands, Lake Highlands, East Dallas, Hollywood Heights, Forest Hills, Swiss Avenue, downtown Dallas (high rises), Uptown, Turtle Creek, Highland Park, University Park, Richardson, Addison and more.
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