RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Your pet dog may be the cutest dog around but its waste isn't. And it can be damaging to area waterways if you aren't careful.
Charles Price is a "Friend of Bandy Field" working to keep this city park clean, safe, and relaxing. That includes teaching people who spend time there they should clean up after their pets.
"It is a law you must pick up after your dogs if they litter the parks stated so in the code of the City of Richmond," Price said.
It's also a law that your dog be on a leash.
"If you let him run hither and yonder, you can't see it as well and you're likely to not to pick it up. But if he's right there next to you, you reach into to your pocket, you pull out a bag and you pick it up," Price said.
That dog waste left behind can ruin another person's day but being polite is just one part of the story.
"Taking care of a pet is like taking care of a child. You need to clean up after that pet," said Chris French of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake bay is getting the word out. Pick up after your pet. If you don't that waste eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
'There's bacteria in that pet waste and people can get sick from it. So it's a human health risk," French said.
The risk is high for aquatic life, too, as pet waste's high nutrient content alters the natural state of the bay -- creating dead zones where fish can't live.
It's all about education, trying to get the word out.
"We see people installing bags and things. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is working with folks," French said.
So enjoy a walk in the park with your dog, just keep him on a leash, and grab that plastic bag and keep nature clean....whenever nature calls.