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Pet Waste

Little dog

Talking about pet poop can be funny, but it is serious business! When it rains, pet waste that is left on the lawn or on the sidewalk gets carried into our local streams, rivers, and lakes, where it can have harmful effects to both humans and wildlife alike. 

Pet waste contains nutrients that can cause algae blooms, which can upset the natural balance of our local waterways. These algae then use up dissolved oxygen, which many aquatic wildlife rely on to survive. 

In addition, pet waste also contains fecal coliform bacteria. In fact, a single gram of pet waste contains an average of 23 million of them! While generally not harmful themselves, elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in our waterways is an indicator of recent fecal contamination, and of possible presence of disease-causing, or pathogenic, bacteria. 

Whether you are with your pet at home, around your neighborhood or at a park, remember to always SCOOP it, BAG it, and TOSS it in the garbage.

Be a Pal – Take the Pick It Up Pals Pledge

Thank you for your interest in our proper pet waste disposal program. Taking the pledge stated below qualifies you for your choice of either a pet waste disposal bag or a refill.

We, pet and pet owner, pledge to keep our rivers, streams and lakes healthy by:

  • Promptly pick up pet waste
  • Dispose of pet waste in a garbage can
  • Keep your pet on a leash in public
  • Stay on trails
  • Avoid contact with wildlife

Register Your Pet as a Pick It Up Pal

a black puppy
Pick It Up Pal Photo Gallery

You’ll also get a chance to upload an image of your pet and have it featured on our official Pet Photo Gallery.  


Check out our featured furry friends that took the pledge.

Request a free pet waste bag dispenser or refill mini roll

Upon request, we offer free clip-on pet waste bag dispensers to pet owners of Cobb County.

To request one, please click here and submit the form.

You must fill out form in advance, be a resident of Cobb County, and have a valid address within Cobb County to apply. Only one item per household may be requested.  While supplies last.

Educational presentation and service project for student groups

Are you a member or sponsor of an environment, pet or service-themed student organization? Cobb County Water System needs your help to spread the Pick It Up message! We offer a free educational presentation to raise awareness on proper pet waste disposal for student groups and organizations. We also work with students to hold pledge drives at their schools during lunch for service hours. If you are interested in this opportunity, please email our program specialist at  Best suited for high school student groups.

Eco-Logical Tips to Improve Your Footprint:

Student Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest Submissions

Do you recommend composting, burying or flushing pet waste down the toilet?

Cobb County Water System strongly recommends properly disposing of pet waste in a garbage receptacle leading to a landfill. We do not recommend flushing pet waste down the toilet, as our wastewater treatment processes are not designed specifically to break down all contaminants in pet waste. Pet waste should never be added to a regular compost pile, as most traditional compost piles do not reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature needed to kill bacteria. If you do decide to compost pet waste separately, we strongly recommend conducting additional research to inform you on best practices. We also do not recommend burying pet waste, as improperly buried pet waste runs the risk of impacting both soil and water quality.

What other animals may contribute to pet waste?

In addition to dogs, pets like cats or chickens can also contribute to pet waste. No matter what type of furry or feathered friend you have, always be sure to properly dispose of pet waste.

What does the local county ordinance state regarding animal waste?

Section 10-138

(a) Animal owners, or persons who care for animals at the person's residence, must keep their property, including but not limited to their yards, porches, balconies, decks, and interior living spaces reasonably free of animal waste including feces and urine and the residue thereof. Animal waste will be removed in a timely manner by placing said material in a closed or sealed container and thereafter disposing of it in the animal owner's trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit, or other closed or sealed refuse container, so as to provide a sanitary and odor-free condition at all times. The waste removal method described above shall not apply to those persons maintaining animals on tracts of land seven acres or greater.

(b) Persons who permit their animals to defecate on public or private property other than their own property are required to immediately pick up the feces, bag the feces, and properly dispose of the feces. Animal waste shall be removed by placing said matter in a closed or sealed container and thereafter disposing of it in the animal owner's or public trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit or other closed or sealed refuse container.

(c) Any person found in violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be in violation of this chapter, subject to the following exceptions:

(1) Persons using guide dogs or assistance dogs are exempt from removing feces;

(2) Hunting dogs being used in a legal hunt with permission of the property owner; or

(3) Law enforcement officers working police trained dogs.

(Ord. of 5-24-05; Amd. of 2-24-09)