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“Pooches for the Planet” Pet Adoption Promotion Has Environmental Message

November 16, 2009

Throughout November, anyone who adopts a dog at the Pinellas County Animal Services shelter or the Humane Society of Pinellas shelter will receive a free Pooches for the Planet adoption kit filled with valuable information and free goodies.

The program is part of a campaign to promote proper disposal of dog waste to prevent water pollution. Major sponsors are the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Pinellas-Anclote Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Pinellas County Animal Services, and the Humane Society of Pinellas.

Additionally, dozens of area pet-related businesses have contributed toys, treats and discount coupons for pet products or services for the adoption kits. A special $25 gift certificate for PETCO is included in the kit, offered to the first five people who adopt a dog during the event kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 7, at either of the two participating animal shelters. The promotional offers are focused on bringing attention to Tampa Bay Estuary’s “Scoop the Poop” campaign, which promotes responsible pet ownership.

Every day in Pinellas County, an estimated 12 to 28 tons of dog waste is left on the ground. Pet waste contains disease-causing bacteria, viruses and lots of nutrients. This waste is washed down storm drains and delivered untreated to the closest waterway during rain events.

Pet waste poses a threat to both public health and water quality. It contributes harmful bacteria that can make people ill, as well as excessive nutrients that cause algae blooms that in turn rob the water of oxygen needed to support fish and other marine life.

Pooches for the Planet partners hope to encourage responsible pet ownership through a three-month promotion with the two animal shelters. From November through January, anyone who adopts a dog from Pinellas County Animal Services adoption center or the Humane Society shelter will receive an adoption kit containing an eco-friendly Pooches for the Planet reusable shopping bag filled with valuable goodies, including:

  • A Bags-on-Board, pet-waste bag dispenser that clips to a leash
  • A listing of county dog parks
  • An immunization schedule card
  • Discount coupons for a variety of pet services, such as grooming and pet sitting
  • Treats, toys and other items donated by generous local and national pet care companies

“I am excited about our partnership with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program,” said Dr. Welch Agnew, director of Pinellas County Animal Services. “I believe that it will further our combined goals of adoptions to responsible pet owners and environmental awareness. After all, responsible owners always pick up after their pets.”

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