Dog feces a hazard at Oregon school playgrounds

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Portland, Oregon schools say that irresponsible pet owners to blame for dog poo land mines all over playground. Photo via Stuart Richards.

Portland, Oregon schools say that irresponsible pet owners to blame for dog poo land mines all over playground. Photo via Stuart Richards.

Dog poop has become a major nuisance at some Portland, Ore. playgrounds, according to a KPTV report on Wednesday.

Administrators and educators at Beach Elementary School in Portland say the problem of people using the school playground as a dog park is making it so that the children can no longer play at or enjoy the playground.

Ted Eugenis, a parent of a Beach School student told KPTV, “Four o’clock, 4:30, up until the twilight hours, it [the school playground] becomes a dark park. Eight to ten dogs running loose, big dogs.”

Administrators and concerned parents criticized dog owners, saying hardly anyone picks up after their dogs.

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Administrators also say that the situation does not only present an ‘ewww factor’ but that it poses a real health hazard as well. According to Canada’s Public Health Association, dog feces can spread E. Coli, Salmonellosis, roundworn, tapeworms and other bacterial infections and parasites. Beach Elementary School principal Rebecca Torres said that three children stepped in dog poop during their last fire drill.

Most municipalities in Oregon, including Portland, have waste laws which prohibit dog owners from leaving dog waste in public areas. Dog owners and walkers are supposed to remove the waste or they could face a fine.

School officials and police starting cracking down on the law breakers this year by putting up signs on playground property which read:

“Keep PPS Schoolyards Safe and Healthy. Leash Pets. Scoop Poop. It’s the law!”

Portland police say they are stepping up playground patrols and will not hesitate to write a ticket to dog poop duty offenders.

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