The scoop on dog poop and biofuel
Who knew that you could be sitting on a virtual money making-machine just by feeding your dog and gathering his poop? Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? On a recent holiday trip to San Francisco, my grandson and I happened to notice a billboard that stated “Dog poop to fuel.”
I couldn’t resist saying, “That’s a crappy sign.” OK, my grandson was less than amused. He is 14 and terminally mortified by my presence. Despite his chilly reception to my comment, my curiosity was piqued, so I decided to investigate this claim.
I found out that San Francisco has 120,000 dogs, which is more than the number of children residing in the city. The amount of solid refuse that dogs and cats produce is about 3.8 percent of the garbage from residential collection. Nationally almost 10 million tons of dog and cat waste is generated annually.
According to William Brinton, president of Woods End Laboratories, “The amount of energy potential in dog and cat litter is higher than anything else because of the rich diet that we feed pets.” Dog feces naturally contain bacteria called methanogens, which use hydrogen to break down carbon dioxide into microbial food. Methane gas is made as a byproduct of this process.
The beauty of this system is this: It doesn’t consume any energy to produce this energy because you don’t have to provide any energy to run the system. The resulting biofuel can be piped into stoves, turbines and other machines that run on natural gas.
San Francisco has already received special biodegradable bags and collection bins in Duboce Park, a local favorite of dog owners. It was nice to see folks concerned about waste and finding a positive way to repurpose it. It may take a few years for this effort to get up and running, but I can’t help but cheer them on. I’ve already thought of some names for future companies, Fido Fuel and Puppy Power. I’ll let you know when they open up.
Mei Scott is our Who’s Who this week. She is a wonderful volunteer who walks dogs and chauffeurs our guests to doggie daycare. We want to commend Mei on her recent adoption of Scout, a beautiful Lab mix, who loves life and Mei. Our gratitude goes to Mei and a big wag of everyone’s tail for her commitment to Scout and CAPS.
WHO’S NEW AT THE CAPS’ ZOO?
Come out and meet our recent arrivals Kelly and Bailey. They are brown Hungarian Vizslas who are 12 years old. These two male dogs are loyal, loveable and looking for someone who will appreciate their special beauty. Come in to meet them and go for a walk. I’m sure you’ll be enchanted.
We have a darling puppy who is a Lab cross. He is five months old and would love to make someone happy. He was dumped in the desert without any hope but found his way to CAPS.
We have four male and four female kitties ready for their new homes. Make this a new year to remember with a new pet to enjoy life with. Policy, however, prohibits adopting out puppies or kittens under the age of six months to a home with children under five years of age. This is to protect both the children and the animal.
CAPS’ NEWS AND EVENTS
Flower Tree Nursery is again raffling a 15-gallon tree. The drawing date is March 15, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win. Raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.
CAPS will be at Walmart in February, along with Ki and Urtle at our Kissin’ Booth. Please come by and give our boys a big hug and kiss. We have hoodies, sweatshirts and caps, so please check them out before or after greeting our canine volunteers
The 2016 Happy Endings calendar can be purchased at the Flower Tree Nursery. Don’t delay because, at the time when I wrote this, only one was left.
CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnv.org) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.
Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.