‘Scoop the Poop Day in Maryland,’ O’Malley declares

Dog with bag of poop and trash can (By Wayan Vota on Flickr)

(By Wayan Vota on Flickr)

The state government wants Marylanders to become super duper pooper scoopers.

We can’t really add much to this verbatim press release from the Maryland Department of the Environment. It leaves unanswered the problem of uncontrolled scat (that’s non-domesticated defecation) from squirrels, deer, mice, rabbits etc. Does a bear scat in the woods? And what is the state gonna do about it?

Save the Bay, Scoop the Poop, Sign the Pledge

The press release:

MDE Reminds Dog Owners to “Scoop the Poop” Every Stinkin’ Time

Pet Waste is Responsible for 24 Percent of Bacteria in Urban and Suburban Waterways

(Baltimore, MD) August 27, 2013 – Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers encouraged pet owners to “scoop the poop,” during an event held today at Patterson Park in Baltimore City.

An estimated 1.3 million dogs live, play and poop in Maryland. Picking up after your dog’s waste is important for your health, the health of your pet and Maryland’s environment. The simple act of picking up after your dog by “scooping the poop” can assist in removing harmful nutrients and bacteria from local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, keep our citizens healthy and our yards and shoes clean.

Secretary Summers presented Friends of Patterson Park Executive Director, Jennifer Arndt Robinson and the Fells Prospect Community Association with a proclamation from Governor O’Malley recognizing today as “Scoop the Poop Day in Maryland.” Secretary Summers’ dog, Max, along with other pooches and owners also took the “scoop the poop” pledge.

More Information

Sign: Responsible Dog owners scoop the poop (By voteprime on Flickr)

By voteprime on Flickr

Pet waste left on our lawns, sidewalks or paved surfaces is carried away by stormwater, ultimately entering our local waterways. Such waste is a significant source of pollution that contaminates our waters with disease-causing bacteria and parasites – potentially making the water unfit for swimming or other recreational activities. Pet waste also has other adverse effects on water quality, such as nutrient over-enrichment which results in oxygen depletion.

Help Stop Pointless Poo-llution

Below are some tips on what you can do to help keep our watershed clean and healthy:

Always clean up after your dog on walks and remind your neighbors and friends to do the same.

Don’t wait to scoop in your own yard – keep an eye out and scoop immediately.

Take multiple bags on walks, just in case.

Throw out dog waste using a bio-degradable bag OR flush waste down the toilet (where it will eventually end up in a wastewater treatment plant).

Do NOT throw dog waste in a compost bin.

Start a campaign to get your community involved, installing pet disposal facilities, poop scoopers and other convenient items to encourage locals to clean up after their pets.




About The Author

Len Lazarick


Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. boomlikethat

    Does this include the toxic waste bin of lies from the Governor as well. If so, I’m in!
    And this clown wants to be President……

  2. joe

    Coming soon to a legislature near you, the O’Malley Poop Tax.

  3. ScoopMasters

    Next year you can try to coincide with International Pooper Scooper Week…the official pet poop awareness week officially recognized by Chase’s calendar of events. April 1 – 7 every year.

  4. snowmaggedoned

    Can you imagine how large a scoop I’d have to bring to scoop out O’Mallady’s office???????

    It would have to be the size of a Catapillar……….

  5. robert gould

    There isn’t a scoop big enough to scoop all the poop that comes out of Annapolis.

  6. xenasmom

    I like the idea not because of Bay pollution but because I am tired of seeing and stepping in the stuff. Some people need a little extra encouragement to do the right thing. And I do agree with the previous commenter, although I too am an animal lover, that we should also lower the population of rats, feral cats, raccoons and white tail deer which cause untold public health and human safety problems.

    • snowmaggedoned

      Feral cats help control the rat and mice population.

  7. queenofcommonsense

    Really? 24% of the bacteria in the bay comes from dog waste. How much nitrogen? I thought all the problems were from those nasty septic systems, the replacement cost of which requires that the average homeowner sell their firstborn. Do you think we’ll see some kind of tax or “fee” intended to extract the appropriate amount of recompense from these thoughtless poop-luters? Highly unlikely. The folks in charge of this failing state are more concerned with the rights of beasts and their owners than the rights of property owners! For the record, I have a very large , four legged”producer” so I am not a hater of animals. What about the contributions of wild animals, stray cats, city rats (the unelected kind) to bay pollution? Will we see a campaign to exterminate the city rat or suburban raccoon population on behalf of the bay? We all know the answer to that. Not PC enough. Gotta protect wildlife. Besides, it’s easier to go after people. This topic reminds me of a conversation I had with a very snooty and self important environmentalist in one of the Friends of___(fill in the blank) clubs. When I suggested that there were sources of pollution other than well functioning and well designed septics, wildlife waste being one of them, he sniffed and hurried away. Seems now that our own elites may be inching toward that realization. But wait. We can only go after animal waste if it’s creation is part of a private capitalist venture.

    • cg8s

      CORRECTION: 24% of the bacteria comes from PET waste (not just dog waste).
      Don’t confuse bacteria, with the other harmful stuff in the bay like nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. They are all bad, and they all come from varying sources. Septics contribute bacteria and nitrogen.
      You ask a good question about poop from other animals, but poop/scat from undomesticated animals has been found to be much different chemically, so the impact on water is much, much less. It has to do with the processed foods given to domesticated animals vs free range natural foods.
      One thing we can certainly agree on is that it is always fun to irritate members of 1000 Friends of _______.