DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Officials with a company looking to expand a dog poop DNA business made another stop at Dallas City Hall Wednesday and they brought a Hollywood endorsement with them.
Actor David Keith, who has a recurring role on the CBS drama Hawaii Five-O, has joined forces with the pet waste management company Poo Prints. The company maintains a database so that poop left on North Texas sidewalks can be matched to dog owners.
Keith told members of the Dallas City Council that the pet waste problem is more serious than landscaping damage and yucky shoes. "You can clean it [dog poo] up today or drink it tomorrow," he said defiantly. "U.S. studies conclude that at least 20- to 30-percent of the bacterial pollution found in our water system can be traced directly to dog waste."
The actor, best known for playing the role of Sid in the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, said that among other things the dog poop problem is taking a toll on the environment. "The EPA has ranked pet waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemical spills." Three years ago excessively high bacteria levels, caused by dog fecal matter, shut down a leash-free dog park in Austin for six months.
Cities and property managers can use the company database to match poo left on sidewalks and in private yards to the offending dog's owner. Keith also told city leaders that the pet waste problem is a public health issue.
"Toxicaria, a canine round worm that can often be found along with its eggs in dog waste, can cause organ damage and blindness," he said. "The CDC estimates that 14-percent of the U.S. population has already come in contact with or is infected with Toxicaria."
According to the company's website, soil contaminated by dog waste is particularly dangerous to children since they often play on the ground, drop toys and pacifiers on the ground, and regularly put their hands in their mouths.
Wednesday's presentation was one of several that have been made during the public comment portion of council meetings over the past few of months.
So far, the Dallas City Council hasn't gotten on board with requiring people to enter their dog's DNA into the waste management database. The service costs about $30 per animal.
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