Don't Trash Our Desert


Part of being a responsible pet owner means not only taking care of your pet, but understanding how you do it can help or harm the environment.  Did you know:

Doggie doo-doo was labeled a stormwater don’t in 1991 by the EPA, placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines. (June 2014 High Desert Droplet from Mojave River Watershed Group)

When it rains, dog and other animal waste left on lawns, sidewalks and streets can wash into stormdrains and flow untreated directly into our local waterways. The bacteria and risk of disease threatens the health of our community. 

The Mojave River Watershed Group (MRWG) is committed to protecting the Mojave River, its watershed, plants and wildlife, and the quality of our regularly used High Desert water against stormwater pollution.  Here’s tips from their website ( on how being a responsible pet owner can protect the environment:

Pick up after your pet

Often, dog waste gets left on sidewalks and streets. More than just a nuisance, it can spread disease and threaten public health. But preventing this pollution is as easy as 1-2-3:

Bring a bag 
Clean it up 
Dispose of it properly, in the toilet or trash

Washing pets

If possible, bathe your pets indoors, using less toxic shampoos, or have your pet professionally groomed. Pet shampoos and soaps, even those that are biodegradable, can be toxic to people and marine life.

Flea control

Consider using alternatives such as oral or topical flea control products. If you use flea control products such as shampoos, sprays or collars, make sure to dispose of unused quantities properly.


When conducting horse and livestock activities such as building a corral, feeding livestock or cleaning and grooming horses, follow these simple tips to prevent discharges from entering storm drains.

Facilities Designs

Site barns, corrals and other high-use areas on the portions of the property that drain away from the nearest creek or storm drain. 
Restrict animal access to creeks and streams, preferably by fencing. 
Protect manure storage facilities from rainfall and surface runoff. 
Install gutters that will divert runoff away from livestock areas.

Pasture Management

Confine animals in properly fenced areas, except during exercise and grazing.
Animal areas should be swept or shoveled at least once a day, and not hosed down to a stream or storm drain.

Grazing Management

During heavy rainfall, consider indoor feeding, a practice which keeps more manure under a roof and away from runoff.

Collection and Storage

Store animal waste in a sturdy, seepage-free unit. 
Line waste pits or trenches with an impermeable layer.

Use and Disposal

Compost soiled bedding and manure. 
Give away composted material to local greenhouses, nurseries and botanical parks. 
Transport manure to topsoil companies or composting centers.


Use less toxic alternatives such as bacterial insecticides, diatomaceous earth insecticidal soaps, boric acid powder, horticultural oils and pyrethin-based insecticides.
When washing livestock, allow wash water to seep into the ground or conduct in an area that is routed to the sanitary sewer.