Tired of dealing with uncollected dog waste, the local council in the Spanish village of Brunete came up with an interesting and unconventional approach: They deployed 20 volunteers around town to watch for offending dog owners and, by striking up a casual conversation, get the dog’s name and breed. With this information, they then found the pet in the local registry, along with its owner’s name and address. Later, they personally hand-delivered the dog’s leavings to the owner, on the claim of returning “lost property.”
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What’s the Big Idea?
Although picking up after one’s dog is now considered normal in many places around the world, from major cities to small towns, not everybody is willing to participate. By using this tactic, reports of irresponsible dog-owner behavior in Brunete have dropped by a whopping 70 percent. According to one council spokesperson, “We’re not sure whether that’s because they’re more afraid of getting their dogs’ excrement delivered back to them than of being fined.” While the villagers generally approve of the shaming approach, some have asked for special areas to be set up where dogs can be free, so to speak.
Elisabeth Badinter’s important and arousing polemic, The Conflict: How Overzealous Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, is now out in paperback in the U.S. Prospective mothers (as well as those […]