I’ve done a little internet searching for this situation, but… you guys are the most knowledgeable, tapped-in animal folks around, so I was hoping to toss this out for a little expert input.
We have this pond.
Well, it’s not really a pond. It’s this big plasticy-type material that our landlord had as a decorative element in the garden on the side of the house. (Note: The dogs do NOT have access to this area. This is a key point, as you’ll see.)
Before I get to my question, here is some background info:
We don’t fill the pond. There’s no filter. The water doesn’t get recycled or “moved” in any way. It’s filled solely by the daily thunderstorms.
Currently, it has a ton of tadpoles in it, and there’s a whole population of herps that sings from its banks every night.
During the day, it’s a hotspot for all the stray cats in the neighborhood, particularly the little gray fella who might live under our house. It’s frequented by birds and squirrels, too.
Other than the obvious problem (mosquitoes!!!) the water isn’t clean. It’s filmy and grimy. According to our vet, the parish (Louisiana’s term for county) we live in has the highest incidence of heartworm in the country, so this is a real concern for me.
So I’m wondering: What would you do?
Should we find a way to “clean” the water (I don’t know… iodine tabs or something) so that all the cats in the neighborhood aren’t contracting some disease from the gross water? Or would that somehow kill the frog population that clearly relies on the little pond? Should we just leave it alone and let nature take its course?
I feel an obligation to be a good steward for all the strays in the neighborhood, so I really don’t know what to do… And I’ve found mixed opinions in my Google searching.
These are the kinds of animal welfare questions that keep me up at night… Sigh.
Any and all advice MUCH appreciated!