Jeffco's "There Is No Poop Fairy" campaign gets national attention

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow named a Jefferson County public-service announcement the Best New Thing in the World last week — but it wasn't just any old PSA. "There Is No Poop Fairy" is a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office campaign designed to get people to clean up after their dogs — and it comes with its own myth. Here's the Poop Fairy's tale, as told by Jeffco:

"Like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, the fabled poop fairy has been the stuff of legend. Flying undetected in parks, neighborhoods and schoolyards, she was said to follow close behind dogs and their owners — picking up what the dog left behind before flying off to the next canine creation. A widespread belief that she existed seemed to reassure some that cleaning up after one's dog was sort of...optional."

Maddow shared this info — and news of the campaign from the Poop Fairy Facebook page — with unfeigned glee, opining that the Jeffco worker behind the campaign had likely been underutilized before now.

And who is this unsung hero? The campaign was created by a team of employees who scoured the Internet for ideas after several people complained about doggie debris piling up in parks, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Andrea Burns. "This is a big thing in communities across the country. People everywhere are incensed by the poop situation," Burns says. So when these Jeffco workers caught wind of a similar Poop Fairy slogan (but without the graphics or the amusing backstory) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, they decided to run with it.

And the story had to be convincing, because people think poop just goes away on its own — and it doesn't, Burns notes: "I've learned a lot about poop in the last couple of months." And the team has shared it all with Jeffco residents.

"Dog waste doesn't biodegrade like wild animal waste," the campaign material reads. "It sticks around for a long time. Meanwhile, it contains harmful bacteria, pollutes groundwater, and smells disgusting on the bottom of a shoe. Please help keep parks, trails and neighborhoods free of poop piles by packing out your dog's waste."

From July 9 to 17, the county's animal-control division will back up that message with signs at dozens of Jeffco parks and open-space areas, along with volunteers who will be wearing Poop Fairy T-shirts and handing out info and biodegradable Poop Fairy bags to as many people as possible. Meanwhile, other volunteers will be sticking flags in the ground near piles of poop "to show the volume and to underscore the vast expanse of the problem," Burns says.

Even before Maddow's shout-out, the campaign, which cost just $5,000, had attracted enough national attention that people were asking for their own Poop Fairy T-shirts — which the sheriff's office may try to arrange with a local non-profit animal foundation. "We don't get to do a lot of lighthearted stuff, so this is fun," Burns says. "Somebody just texted me a picture of dog poop. This is my life, I guess."


Scene and herd: LoDo is full of sloshingly drunk douchebags before, during and after Colorado Rockies games, and Dinger, the mascot, is already sickeningly sweet. So did we really need a sickeningly sweet purple drink named after our least favorite dinosaur?

Apparently we did.

Cheba Hut, which is known more for its pot-themed sandwich menu and its similarly toasted clientele than for its mixed drinks, has created the Dinger, a cocktail made with purple Kool-Aid and your liquor of choice (they recommend vodka). And while it's more of a college-dorm-style punchbowl offering than a "cocktail" — and probably not what the Rockies front office was hoping for as they battle through repeated slumps — the Dinger will certainly take the edge off another losing streak.

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