01/16/2013 11:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Doggy Tracks: Dog Shares Spread The Love, Limit The Poo

A little pet therapy seems appropriate after yesterday's toxin-laden post...

Do you like dogs, yet don't have the time or space to care for one of your own? City Dog Share, a free dog-sitting co-op, may be your answer. The car-share-like concept may also help shrink the environmental pawprint of our four-legged best friends -- and the likelihood that your own footprint will get caked in dog poo.

Founder Eric Husk was a "a dog person without a dog," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

His idea: Offer a Facebook forum for people to connect when they need help caring for their canine, or would like to offer their own walking, feeding or dog-sitting services.

Sharing a dog's love may mean fewer people feeling the need for one of their own. And fewer pooches on the streets could bring broad environmental and health benefits. As I've covered in the past, doggy doo-doo poses a public health hazard when not scooped and discarded properly.

For one, pet feces carry bacteria, viruses and parasites into waterways that can cause unpleasant infections such as giardia and E. coli. More indirectly, the excrement also releases nutrients into the water that can feed algae, kill marine life, contaminate beaches and send unlucky swimmers home with bouts of diarrhea or hives.

Husk's non-profit is spreading fast, now covering San Francisco, Los Angeles, Humbolt County, Portland and, most recently, Seattle -- a city in which dogs currently outnumber kids.

Here's how City Dog Share works: