• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Spanish town mails dog poo back to owners

Alex Dunham · 4 Jun 2013, 13:47

Published: 04 Jun 2013 13:47 GMT+02:00

Officials in Brunete, a small town of 10,100 inhabitants on the outskirts of Madrid, came up with the idea for a social awareness campaign last year in a bid to stamp out its dog excrement problem.

"We contacted top advertising agency McCann about the doggy matter," a spokesperson for Brunete Town Hall told The Local.

"We told them we didn't have a penny to spend, but they found the idea so novel and exciting that they decided to work with us anyway."

The first campaign saw offending pet owners chased by a remote-controlled turd on wheels with the message "Don’t leave me, pick me up!" written on it.

"The amount of dog poo on our streets dropped considerably as a result. But as soon as the volume started rising again we knew we had to try an even more direct approach."

In February of this year, Brunete Town Hall recruited 20 volunteers to patrol the streets in search of guilty dog owners.

As soon as they spotted a poo that had gone astray, the undercover volunteers would approach the owners and strike up a casual conversation with them.

"They’d ask them what the dog’s name and pedigree was. With that information they could find out the address of the pooch’s owner from a registered pet database we have," Brunete’s Town Hall spokesperson told The Local.

Volunteers would then pick up the turd, box it and deliver it to the pet owners along with an official fine warning, while cameramen filmed the embarrassing scene.

As a result of this surreal campaign, Brunete Town Hall estimates the amount of dog-mess seen on the streets has dropped by 70 percent.

Story continues below…

"We didn’t have volunteers tallying up the poo before and after the campaign; our results are based on what neighbours have told us," the town hall spokesperson told The Local.

"We're not sure either whether the volume of poo has gone down because they're more afraid of getting their dogs' excrement delivered back to them than of being fined."

#Cacaexpress has gone viral on Twitter and YouTube and McCann’s investment in Brunete Town Hall’s proposal has paid dividends after they won a “Sol de Plata” award at the Iberoamerican Advertising Festival this year.

"The campaign has been well-accepted in Brunete," the council spokesperson told The Local.

"A lot of people have called for designated areas to be set up where dogs can do their business though. As they say, different loos, for different poos."

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police hunt macabre 'wolf decapitator' of Asturias
The head of a wolf was left dangling at a roadside in Asturias. Photo: Guardia Civil

Someone is killing wolves and leaving their heads hanging at road junctions in northern Spain.

Spain recoils at yet another botched restoration attempt
The new windows are not to everyone's taste... Screen grab: Atlas España

Locals are not happy about attempts to restore a 17th century local landmark.

'I never look at what I sign,' admits Messi in fraud case
Messi arriving in court in September 2013. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

The Barcelona star told a Spanish judge he never looks at the contracts he signs.

Second day of metro strikes brings chaos to Barcelona
File photo of Barcelona Metro. Photo: AFP

Barcelona Metro was slowed further by an accident on the line on Tuesday morning.

Basketball great Pau Gasol could skip Rio over Zika fears
Pau Gasol said he might not go to the Olympic Games in Rio. Photo: AFP

He is considering skipping the Olympic Games in Brazil in August due to fears over the Zika virus.

Six reasons why Benidorm is so much better than you think
Benidorm is simply something special. Photos by Leah Pattem

Leah Pattem thinks everyone should visit Benidorm at least once in their life. Here she explains why you should give Europe's tackiest resort a chance.

Smoking near kids is 'form of abuse': Spanish experts
Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP.

A group of Spanish medical experts warns that given the serious health effects, lighting up around a child could be considered abuse.

Man jailed for driving car with bomb into political party HQ
Police blocked off the streets in 2014 after the man drove his car with an explosive device into the office of the Popular Party. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP.

An unemployed man who drove a car loaded with a home-made bomb into the Madrid headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party was sentenced to five years in jail.

Confused Spaniard causes evacuation of Cologne airport
Cologne Bonn airport was put on lockdown after the Spaniard skipped security. Photo: Patrik Stollarz/AFP

This might be the last time he decides to skip security...

Isis storm Real Madrid fan club in Iraq, shooting 12 dead
Real Madrid players. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Spanish football authorities have condemned the attack on a Real Madrid supporters club, which left 12 fans dead during Saturday night's Champions League final.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Culture
What's on in Spain: June 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Stunning cave paintings found 300 metres below Spain
Travel
Five good reasons why Extremadura should be on your bucket list
Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
3,145
jobs available