Maitland may consider teaching pet waste management in schools

City says dog droppings in parks becoming an issue for water system

Author: Kala Rama, Anchor/Reporter, krama@clickorlando.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:17:27 AM EST   Updated On: Sep 24 2013 06:27:57 AM EDT
MAITLAND, Fla. -

The city of Maitland is considering teaching pet waste management at schools after residents say dodging dog droppings at parks is becoming an issue.

The complaints have been at Maitland's Lake Lily, near South Maitland Avenue and U.S. 17-92. The city says trash cans make it easy for owners to throw away waste, but instead, the droppings are being left on the ground and getting into the water system.

Chuck Jordan, head of Leisure Services, said he has been doing research to find ideas to make pet owners pick up after their pooches.

Research revealed dog poop and other droppings are the No. 1 pollutant to our waterways giving way to bacteria in our water.

"It's an important factor for quality of water," Jordan said. "These things don't just disintegrate, they carry bacteria and viruses, and we have many children and people who come to enjoy."

One of those possibilities starts in the classroom with teaching kids at an early age about waste management and the danger of feces getting into Central Florida's bodies of water.

Jordan says studies show a lesson in the classroom go along way and that it is done in the United Kingdom.

Residents Local 6 spoke to appeared to have mixed reviews about putting the classes into the school system.

"That's even more absurd," said Andrew McMaster. "With the school systems the way they are, I don't think dog waste should be taught. They should focus on math, history, science and things that should be taught in school."

"I think if a child has a dog or a cat they need to learn how to take care of it," said Tatiana Nunez.

The city will also discuss imposing a fine on dog owners who don't do their duty and pick up after their pets at the next City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on October 14.