Many towns the world over have had just about enough of all this doggy doo nonsense. Or, perhaps more to the point: This doggy don't nonsense. How many times do you see someone allowing his or her dog to defecate on a public sidewalk or other walkway without a care in the world? And how many times have you stepped in dog droppings before you've realized/smelled what you've just done?
Now one town, at least, has made a stand. And its denizens are definitely looking where they're putting both feet down.
According to a recent report published by the Telegraph, a town just outside of Madrid took to mailing back left-behind dog feces to the offending owners. Owners received a rather stinky reminder of their wrongdoing via packages that were marked, "Lost property."
20 volunteers from the council of Brunete, which is coincidentally about 20 miles west of Madrid, literally went around scooping up dog poo that was left behind by owners they were keenly observing. The volunteers then took to going up to the owners and began speaking with them, not about the poo but the dog in question.
"With the name of the dog and the breed it was possible to identify the owner from the registered pet database held in the town hall," a council spokesperson said.
Couriers then delivered the boxes with the poop inside to the owners; along with "Lost Property" marked on the boxes, they were all branded with not only shame but the town insignia.
If you thought the story ends there, you're up for an even bigger surprise, because the campaign that led to the poop mailings actually won an award last weekend.
McCann, an advertising agency that put together the campaign free of charge, earned the "Sol de Plata" at the Ibero-American Advertising Festival after nearly 150 "specialty" packages were delivered throughout the residenced of the 10,000 person town back in February.
And that's not all: The plan is working.
Since the time of the poop deliveries, owners in the town have been 70 percent less likely to allow their dogs to have at it on the ground without picking up after them.
This is also not the first attempt by volunteers in Brunete to stop dog owners from leaving poop on the ground. Last year, a remote control "dog mess" chased offending owners around with the message "Don't leave me -- pick me up" labeled across it.
Not all towns in the region have such a sense of humor when it comes to leaving dog poo behind. Northern Spain's Hernani passed a by-law two years ago in which all dog owners were forced to register the DNA of their dogs so that any excrement found could be traced by to said owners.
What do you think about these plans to stop dog droppings from being left behind? Great or crazy? Let us know your feelings in the comments below. And, please, let's keep it clean.
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