• Text Size:
  • A
  • A
  • A

Pets and the Environment

Pets are a wonderful addition to a human family, providing us with positive psychological and physical benefits as well as companionship. According to a survey done in 2011 by the American Pet Products Association, 62% of U.S. households owned a pet: 38.9 million households owned cats and 46.3 million households owned dogs.

Here are some things you can do to be a good environmental steward as well as a good pet owner:

  • Keep your dog on a leash when on the beach. Many people ask the question "What's the harm in letting my dog chase birds on the beach---he never catches any!" Please remember that thousands of people use our beaches, and many of them bring their dogs. Birds that are continually forced to fly waste a lot of energy doing this, and the result may be that they don’t have enough energy left to migrate, survive the winter, or nest. Also, be sure to stay out of areas that are posted as closed, and keep your dog out too. Make every effort to walk around large groups of birds.

  • Spay or neuter your dog and cat. Many unwanted pets wind up as strays that injure or kill our native wildlife. The ASPCA estimates that stray cats alone may number over 70 million in the U.S.

  • Pick up after your pet. Domestic animal manure is a major source of E. coli bacteria that often makes its way into our coastal waters, causing shellfish area closures and other environmental issues. Residues of veterinary antibiotics, steroids and other medications have also been found in our coastal waters. Animal waste bags and waste receptacles can be found at our Town parks and many beach access points.

Please help us keep our beaches clean and our wildlife safe!