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Archive for May 24th, 2009

Introducing: an outdoor toilet for dogs

A Michigan man thinks he has come up with a way to flush away the dog poop problem.

Curt Fournier, of GreenDog LLC, is ready to start marketing the “PowerLoo,” an outdoor, flushable toilet for dog waste.

It lists at $1,000 a unit, which I’m assuming includes the required tie-in to your home’s water and sewer lines.

The PowerLoo works just like an indoor toilet. It sits mostly below ground level and taps into sewer lines that lead to waste treatment centers. An optional heating unit to prevent freezing is available for colder climates, according to the Detroit Free Press.

You can view a commercial for the product at the PowerLoo website.

Fournier and his fiancée and business partner, Victoria Januszewski, say their product provides a solution to the environmental and health problems associated with dog poop. It’s set to launch next month.

“Both the Centers for Disease Control and Environmental Protection Agency say pet waste should be flushed down a toilet, but up until this point, there was really no safe or convenient way to do so. Carrying dog poop into your house can be unsafe, and not to mention gross,” Januszewski said.

“Vicki and I were getting tired of cleaning up the mess left by our two dogs and thought that being able to flush it down a toilet in the backyard would make things easier,” Fournier said.

Of course — unless you train your dog to do it — you still have to pick up the poop, carry it to the PowerLoo, open it and flush (both of which can be done with your foot), but otherwise, the company literature boasts, disposal of dog waste is “hands-free.”

“There are 75 million dogs in the U.S., and each produces, on average, one pound of waste per day,” Fournier said. “Most of it is either left on the ground, where it is exposed to humans and has the potential to contaminate water sources, or it gets thrown away in a plastic bag and ends up taking up space in a landfill.”

GreenDog expects to produce 500 PowerLoos in 2009. In addition to homeowners, the company hopes to market the PowerLoo to dog breeders, doggy day care centers and pet-friendly apartment complexes.

Katrina documentary begins 80-city tour

An American Opera “Jane’s Trailer”

Tom McPhee and his award-winning documentary about pets during Hurricane Katrina — “An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever!” — are hitting the road on a year-long 80-city tour.

“The Rescue Party Tour” starts this month and will highlight local animal organizations in each city it visits (Baltimore’s not on the list yet).

The documentary is described as a “visceral, operatic vision of what happened to the pet owners of New Orleans who were forced to evacuate after Hurricane Katrina without their beloved pets, and the volunteers who came from all over the world to help.

“America suffered its worst domestic animal crisis in history when tens of thousands of animals were left to perish in neighborhoods all across the gulf. This heartfelt story follows the pets, vets, owners, officials, rescuers, and adopters of animals as they work through the chaos to do what is right, only to discover not everyone is working toward the same goal.”

For more information about the movie, visit its website.

For more information about the tour, see www.RescuePartyTour.com.

Local animal groups interested in showcasing the movie and their work in the community, can email rescuepartyinfo@mansmilingmovingpictures.com