Check your shoes: DC is apparently a “dog poop capital.” This crappy headline comes from Protect My Paws, a pet insurance company that ranked the 10 worst cities in America for abandoned dogs in 2021.
DC ranks ninth, according to the company, which shared its survey in recognition of International Pooper Scooper Week – yes, such a thing exists. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the harmful effects of animal waste. If not picked up, a seemingly harmless pile of dog poop can pose serious health and environmental risks.
However, if it’s any consolation, DC’s stinking ranking isn’t exactly based on top-notch investigative methods. Protect My Paws arrived at its conclusions by researching poo-related keywords on Twitter, such as “dog poop”, “poop bags” and “walking in poo”, then extrapolated the data to represent a year whole.
Using this method, the company said that every year for every 100,000 DC residents, there were 44.5 tweets complaining about dog poop. At the top of the smoldering pile is Pittsburgh, which ranked first with 74.2 tweets per 100,000 people per year, followed by Seattle at 63.9 and Atlanta at 61.8.
According to the DOEE, district law requires all dog walkers to pick up their dogs’ feces (except those with guide dogs). After all, according to the ministry, DC dogs collectively produce about 44 million pounds of poop every year, or about the weight of three Capitol Domes.