Scoop Pet Waste

What’s the Problem?

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More than 20,000 dogs of all shapes and sizes live in Kirkland. That’s a lot of dogs and a lot of dog poop– more than 6,000 pounds of poop per day!

 

 

 

Pet Waste Affects Health and Water Quality

Pet waste contains harmful organisms like E.coliGiardia, and roundworms which can be transmitted to people and pets if not cleaned up. 

When it rains, pet waste gets washed down the storm drain and into the nearest stream or lake. The organisms in dog waste can pollute our streams, creeks, and lakes, making our favorite places to swim and play unsafe.

Yellow Flags Return at Peter Kirk Park and Juanita Beach Park February 18th, 2021. 

 Pet Waste Yellow Flag Sign

Frequently Asked Questions About the Flags

How long will the flags be in place?

Flags will be in place for at least 2-3 weeks to allow the outreach efforts to reach a wide audience of pet owners and park visitors.

How much of a problem is pet waste in these parks?

Recently, City volunteers counted 96 instances of un-scooped poop in four weeks on the north side of Juanita Beach park near the ballfields. Meanwhile, Park staff counted a 136 cases at Peter Kirk Park in downtown Kirkland over a three week period. 

Dog poop contains harmful bacteria and germs that can spread disease to other dogs and wildlife. When it rains, dog poop washes away to the nearest storm drain, stream, creek, or lake. The bacteria in dog poop can harm water quality and can make places to swim and play unsafe.

Juanita Beach Park and Peter Kirk Park are two of Kirkland’s most heavily used park areas. Un-scooped pet waste can also spoil park experiences for children and families seeking to enjoy Kirkland’s playgrounds, ballfields, and open spaces. 

 Un-Scooped Poop Observed at Peter Kirk Park From 1/22/21 to 2/6/2021:

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 Un-Scooped Poop Observed at Juanita Beach Park From 1/20/21 to 2/5/2021:

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Do the flags really work?

A similar yellow flag campaign was carried out in Fall of 2019. That campaign helped to reduce un-scooped pet waste by 80% in the six months following the outreach efforts. City staff hope a similar reduction will be achieved with this renewed effort. Read the report from the 2019 campaign(PDF, 6MB)

How much did this cost the City/taxpayers?

Flagging and signage were both purchased in 2019 with grant funding from King Conservation District to address water quality concerns. Volunteers have been monitoring and flagging at Juanita Beach park, while Park staff at Peter Kirk park monitored and placed flags as part of their normal Park maintenance tasks. 

Is there a scoop law? Why can't we ticket people?

Kirkland does have a scoop law (KMC 8.09.508) that requires removal of pet waste. Kirkland has only one Park Ranger and one Animal Control Officer, but more than 20,000 dogs, making it very difficult to observe and enforce a pet owner not scooping their pet’s waste. Education and outreach can have a broader reach and can be a cost-effective means of reducing un-scooped pet waste. 

Is this just a problem in Kirkland?

Un-scooped pet waste is a problem across the Puget Sound region and across the country. Other cities have implemented similar flagging campaigns including Bellingham, Aspen (CO), and St. Louis (MO).

What Can We Do?

At Home

Luckily, the solution to this problem is quite simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Scoop your dog’s waste
  2. Put it in a bag
  3. Put it in the trash.

Scooping on walks: Keep a supply of bags near your dog’s leash. Use a bag dispenser that can be clipped to the leash. You can also use old newspaper, sandwich or bread bags. Tie bags to the leash if you don’t have pockets.
 
Scooping in the backyard: Use your poop-scooping tool of choice and bag your dog’s waste.

Good Human, Scoop Poop

In My Neighborhood

Free pet waste stations are available for homeowner associations, neighborhood associations and homeowners within our city limits. One station will be distributed per sponsor.

 You can keep your neighborhood common areas and open spaces clean and healthy by sponsoring a pet waste station, making pet waste cleanup easy and convenient for dog owners.

The following supplies are provided at no cost to you (while supplies last):

  • weather-proof signs
  • pet waste bag dispenser
  • supply of 500 bags

The association, apartment owner/manager or homeowner is responsible for installing the station, keeping the sign maintained and the dispenser filled with bags.

If your neighborhood could use a pet waste station, ask your association of complex manager to fill out a Pet Waste Station Sponsor Agreement(PDF, 59KB). For more information about this program, refer to the Pet Waste Station Flyer(PDF, 1MB) or contact Aaron Hussmann or call 425-587-3857.

Around the City

Congrats Kirkland! You Helped Reduce Unscooped Dog Poop by 80%

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Read the Final Project Report Here(PDF, 6MB)

Visitors to Juanita Beach Park and Hazen Hills Park may have noticed hundreds of yellow flags dotting the landscape throughout October 2019. Each yellow flag marked where unscooped dog poop was left in the park over the past month - a whopping 270 piles of unscooped dog poop! 

As part of a research effort funded by King Conservation District Member Jurisdiction grant program, City staff monitored and counted unscooped dog poop to see if these numbers decline after the installation of new dog poop bag stations and new education and outreach efforts. City staff are also monitored the creek flowing through Hazen Hills Park for bacteria and canine bacteria DNA to evaluate the water quality impacts of dog poop. 

City volunteers continue to keep the new dog poop bag stations at Hazen Hills and Juanita Beach stocked with bags. We plan to monitor additional parks to identify possible hot spots for future outreach efforts.