This week, Carbajose de la Sagrada, a municipality in Salamanca, has commissioned a special unit of private detectives to monitor dog poo in public spaces, with the hope of raising awareness about the responsibility that comes with owning a pet, and fining guilty dog-walkers.
After the evidence has been collected by these detectives, it will be up to the local police force to press charges and issue fines.
▶️Este operativo comenzará a funcionar en el municipio a partir de esta semana. pic.twitter.com/XW1kDxxOGW
— Ayto de Carbajosa (@aytocarbajosa) June 9, 2019
The new initiative has been introduced following a barrage of complaints from citizens about the ‘uncivil’ behaviour of some residents, as well as the failure of previous awareness campaigns to put an end to their repeated crimes.
The mayor of the municipality, Pedro Samuel Martín, met with pet owners a few weeks ago to discuss a solution to the ongoing dilemma. He said he hoped the new measures, following in the footsteps of towns such as Colmenar Viejo, would improve the state of public spaces, and lead to greater 'coexistence' in the town.
This is just the latest attempt by town councils to combat the issue of dog dirt. In 2013, a viral campaign in Brunete, a small town just outside Madrid, saw officials box up waste and mail it back guilty pet owners.
The town of Colmenar Viejo, also near Madrid, hired incognito detectives in 2014 to film owners who left their dog's poo lying around, and in 2016, Maslata, near Valencia, ordered residents to register their dog’s DNA through mandatory blood samples, so the owners who failed to clean up after their dogs could be traced.
In a battle to clean up the captial, Madrid's mayor introduced a 2016 law, giving dog poo offenders the choice between a €750 fine or a weekend of cleaning duty.
By Alice Huseyinoglu