Villagers reminded to clean up after their pets

Pet owners in The Villages are being reminded that they should always pick up after their pets and dispose of pet waste in their household trash or in a designated container. Pet waste should not be left on the ground and should never be put into storm drains, roads or waterbodies.

When it rains, pet waste can flow into storm drains and into roads. Eventually the waste ends up in our waterbodies, causing water pollution. The waste also causes excess nutrients, which create algae blooms and decrease oxygen in the water. This condition has an adverse effect on fish and other aquatic life.

If not disposed of properly, pet waste not only affects water quality, but public health. The bacteria found in pet waste are very harmful and can make people ill. Public beaches are closed when bacteria found in the water makes swimming unsafe.

Residents are asked to:

• Always clean up after your animals.
• Use bags or scoopers to pick up waste.
• Dispose of waste in pet waste containers or in your household trash.
• Do not put pet waste into storm drains or on the road.
• When traveling, carry extra bags in the car to have on hand to clean up after your pet.
• Remind other pet owners to pick up after their pet.