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Disobedient dog owners in Brunete get a lesson in cleanup

Town officials deliver pet droppings to residents in the dog house

The promotional video from the Brunete council of the scheme (Spanish language).Video: Ayuntamiento de Brunete
Esther Sánchez

Brunete town officials have come up with a novel idea for disobedient dog owners who leave the sidewalks messy by refusing to pick up after their pet.

They have been sending the droppings they find in a small box directly to pet owners’ doors, along with a notice warning them that the next time they refuse to clean up after their dogs they will face fines between 30 and 300 euros.

The idea, which was the brainchild of the McCann advertising firm, was put into practice as part of a week-long pilot program launched in February. Volunteers are employed to spot the uncooperative canine owners, and chat to them in order to find out their dog’s name. From the municipal register of pets, the owner’s address can then be determined. The next day, a town hall official rings the dog-lover’s door delivering a package of “lost items.”

“Sign here, please,” the official tells the bewildered owner.

“We were tired of not being able to solve this problem, so last year we spoke to McCann to see if they could come up with a creative idea,” said a Brunete town spokesman.

After a total of 147 deliveries, Brunete officials report that paths and public spaces are now 70-percent cleaner.

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