Check your shoes: DC is apparently a “Dog Poop Capital.” That crappy title comes from Protect My Paws, a pet insurance company that ranked the top 10 worst US cities for abandoned doggy doo-doo 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 week’s point is to spread awareness about the detrimental effects of pet waste. If not scooped, a seemingly innocuous pile of dog poop can pose serious health and environmental risks.
However, if it’s any consolation, DC’s stinky ranking isn’t exactly based on top-tier survey methods. Protect My Paws arrived at its findings by searching poop-related keywords on Twitter, such as “dog poop,” “poo bags,” and “stepped in poo,” and then extrapolated the data to represent a whole year.
Using that method, the company said that annually, per 100,000 DC residents, there were 44.5 tweets complaining about dog poop. At the top of the steaming pile sits Pittsburgh, which ranked first with 74.2 tweets per 100,000 residents annually, followed by Seattle at 63.9 and Atlanta at 61.8.
According to the DOEE, District law requires all dog walkers pick up their dogs’ poop (with exceptions for those with seeing eye dogs). After all, according to the department, DC dogs collectively produce about 44 million pounds of poop each year—roughly the weight of three Capitol Domes.