Washoe County health officials are issuing a warning to dog owners -- to try and eliminate some major health concerns.
Officials say too many people are not picking up after their dogs -- and just leaving waste in parks and near waterways.
"We're at a dangerous point right now, where we're seeing it in all our pakrs throughout the community, a raised level of dog use. And with that dog use we have responsible, and then we have irresponsible in terms of picking up. So we're kind of at a the crossroads right now," says Al Rogers with Washoe County Parks.
County and city officials want people to realize how bad this problem really is. So, Friday morning they went to Anderson Park in Reno and placed red flags at every spot where waste was left. They actually ran out of flags before they could finish.
Parasites can live inside waste for years - when waste is not picked up. And both dogs and humans can contract diseases from those parasites through water runoff drains or direct contact.
Not only is it a health concern, leaving waste could affect your wallet too. "Your first offense is $100, second offense $200, third offense $400. If you're caught a fourth time on the same offense, you can be facing a misdeamonor criminal cite," says Deputy Bobby Smith.
Bags are available at several area parks. But of course, it's not a bad idea to come prepared and bring your own bags just in case.
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