A race for Number 2

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Fourth annual Poop-a-thon takes place this weekend

The snow is long gone, but another reminder of Old Man Winter remains – a season’s worth of dog poop, exposed by the sun’s warm rays.

To pretty up the public space and protect pets and humans alike, the Tudor Glen Veterinary Hospital is putting on its fourth annual Poop-a-thon at the Lacombe Lake Dog Park this Sunday.

Part community service, part social awareness campaign, the event will see teams from the hospital and other organizations like Edmonton Humane Society partake in a poop-and-scoop competition to see who can fill their bucket with the most muck.

“Whoever has the heaviest bucket is the winning team,” said Vivien Bailey-Marriott, management assistant at the Tudor Glen.

Aside from breaking the city’s bylaw, not picking up after an animal can be dangerous for both pets and humans. Feces helps spread parasites including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and trematodes, which can survive in the soil for years and be spread from pet to pet, as well as pet to human.

“If you take your pet to the dog park, you really need to be de-worming your pet,” said Bailey-Marriott. “It’s putting that awareness out there.”

Roundworms and hookworms are parasites that can be passed directly from dog and cat feces to humans. Hookworms can travel under the skin and cause redness and pain, while both kinds can hatch in the stomach and cause nausea, pain and diarrhea.

The event is also a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society and the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Donations will be collected at the Tudor Glen until the end of May.

The public is invited to cheer on their favourite team and take advantage of a free BBQ and bouncy castle from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Michelle Ferguson