Tips of the Month

CBE Drainage Project

Have you noticed the newly-painted storm drains around College Park? The art highlights that our storm drains dump into nearby waterways--Indian Creek, Paint Branch, and the northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. So, any trash (and other pollution) on the street that gets into the drain--by rain water, wind, etc.--winds up in the waterways. That trash threatens local wildlife.

To see an example of the trash that accumulates in the river, check out the "trash trap" that the Anacostia Riverkeeper put in along Guilford Run (near the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River). If you want to continue exploring College Park, the painted storm drains also aren't too far away. One is near the intersection of Calvert Road and Rhode Island Avenue and features otters, which have recently returned to the Anacostia River. A second is at the intersection of Berwyn Road and the trolley trail and features blue herons, which according to the Anacostia Watershed Society, is a species in need of conservation. This December, while walking around College Park, consider picking up some trash.

From the City's Committee for a Better Environment

More Holiday Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe

In addition to food hazards mentioned last month, holiday decorations can be hazardous to your pets. If you own a cat, tinsel should be avoided. Cats think tinsel is a shiny toy and can be deadly if ingested since it can damage the intestinal tract.

Keep your pet away from tree water, which may contain fertilizers or other additives that can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria. If ingested your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.

Keep wires, snow globes, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock . A punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Poinsettia plants are mildly toxic. Holiday arrangements containing lilies, holly or mistletoe are the most dangerous for cats. Ingestions of one to two leaves or flower petals can cause sudden kidney failure in cats. Holly Berries and mistletoe can also be toxic and can cause gastrointestinal upset and heart arrhythmias if ingested.

Salt in ice melt, homemade play dough and salt dough ornaments can cause life-threatening imbalances in their electrolytes.

If you think your pet has eaten any of these items and is showing sudden changes in behavior, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) or ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435) may be helpful.

From the City's Animal Welfare Committee