Mutts for the Bay

Picking up after your pet helps keep our waters clean and protects people and wildlife from harmful bacteria.


We’re here to help.

As you and your dog visit our beaches, parks, hiking trails, and special seaside spots, we help make it easy to do your duty and pick up after your pet. The Mutts for the Bay program provides free bags for picking up pet waste all over town and educates the public about keeping our bay clean. We maintain more than 33 dispensers throughout the watershed in partnership with the City of Morro Bay, the County of San Luis Obispo, and a group of dedicated community volunteers. It’s part of our commitment to protecting and restoring Morro Bay for people and animals alike.

Help us continue our work with a donation today!

Send a check to:

Mutts for the Bay

Bay Foundation of Morro Bay

601 Embarcadero, Ste. 11

Morro Bay, CA 93402

Or, donate online right here. Thank you for your support!


Dog poop is not a good fertilizer.

The 5,500 dogs that live in Morro Bay and Los Osos produce an average of 19,000 pounds (or about 9.5 tons) of dog poop each week.

If you consider that an average-size dog dropping produces nearly twice as much bacteria as human waste, all of that dog poop starts to sound like a health hazard. And it can be, if it’s left on the ground. When it rains, waste can seep into the ground and wash into local storm drains and waterways, ending up in the bay. The bacteria from all this waste can be harmful to people and to the environment.

Our 2017 State of the Bay report summarizes bay bacteria monitoring from 2005-2016. Bacteria levels at most locations meet water quality standards for recreational contact, although two locations in the back bay exceeded the standard in 20% or less of the samples tested. Keeping pet waste from entering the bay is one way to help reduce bacteria levels. The connection to water quality is important—picking up after your pet is not just about keeping our parks and lawns clean. It is also about clean water that we all enjoy.


Everything helps. The Mutts for the Bay program wouldn’t be possible without donations from generous local businesses, residents, and visitors. In 2020 alone, these contributions helped to stock more than 320,000 bags in dispensers across Morro Bay.

Annual dispenser sponsorship. Our generous Mutts for the Bay dispenser sponsors donate at the $400 level to cover more than 80% of the annual cost to maintain the dispenser and keep it stocked with bags. To show our appreciation, we work with each sponsor to create a customized dispenser sticker with your name, the name of your business, or a dedication to a friend or loved one—furry or not. You can find all of the dispenser locations and see who sponsors them on our interactive Mutts for the Bay Map. 

Donors have stepped up to sponsor every single dispenser in our Mutts for the Bay network as of today. With this tremendous show of support and the incredible generosity of individuals who donate what they can to fund the other 20% of the program costs each year, the program will continue on.

Because of this, we are not currently accepting new sponsors. To add your name to the sponsorship waiting list, please fill out our contact form and enter “Mutts for the Bay Sponsorship” in the subject line. We will let you know as soon as a dispenser becomes available.

Donate via PayPal (using the button below), or send a check made out to the Bay Foundation to 601 Embarcadero, Suite 11, Morro Bay, CA 93442. Your donations keep the Mutts for the Bay dispensers stocked full of bags, help expand the Mutts for the Bay program, and let us reach both locals and visitors with the message that it’s important to pick up after our pets. Small donations add up quickly!

Take action to keep harmful bacteria off the ground and out of our waters by picking up after your pet. You can double your positive impact by picking up any abandoned poo piles nearby while you’re at it. If there’s room in your bag, it’s the easiest way to put millions of bacteria in the trashcan where they belong.

Still want more ways to help? Join us in spreading the word about the importance of picking up after your pet.

  • You can volunteer as a Mutts for the Bay Ambassador, which earns you a spiffy Mutts for the Bay hat and a supply of keychain bag dispensers to hand out when you walk your dog. (Learn more on page two of our Volunteer Interest form.)
  • Get social and share pictures that show your commitment to picking up after your pet. Snap a picture of your dog’s cute face, its bagged doggy-doo, or some combo of the two, and post it to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #MorroBayPicksUpPoo. You’ll inspire others to keep our waters clean by picking up after their pets. Plus, we’ll enter you into a quarterly drawing to win some Mutts for the Bay swag!

Thank you for your support!


Find a dispenser near you with our Mutts for the Bay Map below!


Special thanks to the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, which has provided a generous grant for the Mutts for the Bay program! This grant has paid for the purchase, installation, and supply of bags for three new dispensers in the Morro Bay watershed, one at Cloisters Park in Morro Bay and two in Los Osos. This grant also provides:

  • Bags for other dispensers in the program
  • Support for the development and distribution of educational materials for classroom students that deals with the science of pet waste and pollution through story telling and games.
  • Outreach to our community regarding how important it is to pick up after our pets.

We are very grateful for the Harold J. Miossi Trust’s ongoing support.


Supporters keep us going!  

Dispenser sponsors:

Anna Aven in memory of Buddy Aven and in honor of good dogs everywhere

Kathy Baker and her dogs, Berkeley, Henri, and Dory

Bayfront Inn

Jinny Cahill, in memory of Tom Cahill

The Casidas and The Doxies

The County of San Luis Obispo’s Stormwater Management Program

Keith and Rhonda Crowfoot, in honor of all good dogs

Robert Christie and his dogs, Annie and Mackie

Dale Kaiser Real Estate

Dory and Ricky Dickenson

Grassy Bar Oyster Company

Julie Loe in honor of Toby Tang

Erika & Gerry Luhr in honor of Toby Tang

Morro Bay Active Adults Senior Center

Morro Cove Homeowner’s Association

North Morro Bay Dog Owners

Rotary Club of Morro Bay

The Shell Shop

Peter Starlings Real Estate and Larry

Tamara, Simon, and Missy, in honor of Shirley & Duane

Paul & Shirley Vinson

Anonymous Donors:

Volunteers make it happen.

Our network of awesome volunteers make sure bags are stocked and the dispensers are in working order, and we are grateful for our volunteers’ dedication to helping keep our waters and public places clean.

Another special thanks goes to Diane Moore, our Mutts for the Bay Volunteer Coordinator for many years and a caring neighbor for people, our furry friends, and our estuary.

10 Morro Creek Bridge 3


  • An average-size dog dropping produces nearly twice as much bacteria as human waste
  • Dog poop is not good fertilizer. It’s can kill grass and other plants.
  • An average dog creates 3.5 pounds of poop every week.
  • SLO County is home to more than 62,000 dogs. That’s more than 217,000 pounds of dog poop each week!
  • Morro Bay and Los Osos are home to about 5,500 dogs. That’s more than more than 19,000 pounds (or 9.5 tons) of dog poop per week.
  • Dog poop can take up to a year to break down.