Take Care of Your Pet

A great deal of care goes into maintaining a family pet including vaccinations, meals, walks, and the dreaded clean up. Most of us pick up after our pets to be a good neighbor and to keep our yard clean. But there's another important reason...pet waste contains bacteria that are harmful to us and our water. Leaving it on the sidewalk or lawn means harmful bacteria will be transported into the storm drains and then into our lakes and streams.

Among several parasites that are associated with pet feces, roundworm is the most common. If feces from a roundworm-infected dog are left on the ground, the eggs from this parasite can remain active for a number of years. Persons that come in contact with the infected soil can themselves become infected. Contamination is rare, but possible if someone touches infected soil or old feces and then transfers the eggs to their eyes or mouth. Those at greatest risk are young children because they are more likely to play in dirt and put things in their mouths. However, teens and adults that visit turf play fields where infected dogs have defecated, may also be exposed to the roundworm parasite. Pregnant women are at a higher risk and should even avoid cleaning kitty litter boxes due to this infectious disease that could harm the fetus.

Dispose of it promptly and properly.
How can you stop the spread of these parasites? First, thoroughly pick up after your pet. Fresh feces are not as infectious, as it takes the eggs several weeks to develop. Some parks have courtesy doggy bags available. If this type of dispenser is not in your neighborhood park, a plastic newspaper bag works great to transport the feces to a garbage container. Sandboxes should be covered when not in use to avoid tempting neighborhood cats. Most importantly, wash your hands with soap and water after handling and cleaning up after your pet.

Pet feces have also been linked to highly elevated levels of coliform and streptococci bacterial pollution in storm runoff. It also contributes to high nutrient levels in lakes and ponds that can lead to alga blooms which may kill fish. Also, consider the aesthetics of feces lying around in public places, not to mention the areas of grass killed by the high levels of nitrogen. Given the many reasons mentioned, the best place for pet droppings is in a landfill where their impact can be controlled. Don’t be a poop, pick up after your pet!

Watch instead of feeding.
Feeding ducks and geese may seem harmless but, in fact, can be a nuisance to people and harmful to our water. Feeding waterfowl causes them to become dependent on humans. This, in turn, creates unnaturally high populations and problems in our parks and lakes. Waterfowl waste can pollute our water with harmful bacteria.


Ordinances that all Prattville residents should know and follow:

Sec. 10-41. - Running at large.

ARTICLE III. - VICIOUS ANIMALS

There is no cat leash law within the City limits at present. However, the Humane Shelter has cat traps you can lease by paying a $66 deposit, which is the cost to replace the trap if not returned. If you catch the stray cat, the shelter will take it in for free and reimburse all but $20 of the deposit paid to borrow the trap. If the cat is wearing a tag or has a microchip embedded, its owner will be located and notified that the Shelter is in possession of their pet.

Please be a good pet owner and a good neighbor. Keep pets on a leash when out and about. Don't let them roam the neighborhood. Clean up after them and provide adequate fencing if they are going to remain outside.

The Humane Shelter is open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There are two ways to report a dog running loose or a dead animal. Monday through Friday, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., please call the Humane Shelter, 358-2882, and they will complete a complaint form for you. During all other hours, you may call the E911 non-emergency line, 361-9911, and they will dispatch the Dog Warden, or a Police Officer if after hours, to the location. Should the Dog Warden collect your dog, the animal will be taken to the Prattville/Autauga Humane Shelter on Reuben Road.



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