Welcome to the City of Albuquerque

Pet Waste and Water Quality

Pet waste left on the ground may wash into storm drains and end up in the Rio Grande.

Dangers of Pet Waste if not Handled Properly

  • Spreads diseases between pets.
  • Infects children and adults with disease-causing bacteria and parasites.
  • Spreads diseases between pets.
  • Infects children and adults with disease-causing bacteria and parasites – When pet waste is disposed of improperly, not only does water quality and pet health suffer, but our health may be at risk too. Pets and children who play in yards or in parks where pets defecate are most at risk for infection from disease-causing bacteria and parasites found in pet waste. Diseases that can be passed from pet waste to humans:
    • Campylobacteriosis – a bacterial infection carried by dogs and cats that frequently causes diarrhea in humans.
    • Salmonellosis – the most common bacterial infection transmitted to humans by other animals. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
    • Toxocariasis – roundworms usually transmitted from dogs to humans, often without noticeable symptoms, but may cause vision loss, a rash, fever, or cough.
    • Toxoplasmosis – a parasite carried by cats that can cause birth defects if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy. Can also be a problem for people with depressed immune systems.
  • Makes our river water unsafe – Pet waste left on the ground may wash into storm drains and end up in the Rio Grande. Our river water quality suffers. Pet waste, after being washed into the Rio Grande, uses up oxygen when it begins to decay, causing harm to aquatic organisms and degrading river health. It can make our river unsafe.

You Can Make a Difference

When walking with your pet, take a plastic bag or paper cup along and dispose of the waste properly.

  • Flush it down the toilet.
  • Put it in the household trash after securely wrapping it. (Don't use a yard waste container.)
  • Be aware of the Animal Control Ordinance that governs pet waste clean up – "...waste left by a dog on any property other than the owner's must be cleaned up by the pet owner. If the law is violated, you could be subject to prosecution."

Did you know?

  • 80,000 registered dogs reside in the City of Albuquerque.
  • These dogs create 20 tons of waste per day!
  • Pets can catch diseases from coming into contact with infected feces of other pets.
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