Friday, December 7, 2012

How Do You Get Them to Scoop the Poop?

Mountainous piles of un-scooped dog poop seem to be a problem all over the world.

In the United States, people who keep track of these things estimate that about 40% of American dog owners leave their dog's poop for someone else to pick up.

Poop scooping laws probably make the legislators feel useful but so far haven't had much of an impact on the poop problem.

What about signs that tell you to pick it up?

They work well in countries like Japan, where everyone is law-abiding.

A poop that could walk would make it easy!
But then, no country would have a compliance problem if the poop would actually pick itself up and follow you home, as in the poster above.

Where the signs don't work, France for instance, people must come up with other solutions. In Paris, poop collectors used to suck it up as they rode about on their "motocrottes."
A French Motocrotte
In England, unauthorized dog poop falls under the jurisdiction of the anti-terrorist laws and is monitored by the ubiquitous surveillance cameras. Brighton's Dog Control Order, passed in 2009 provides for fines of up to £1,000 for those who don't scoop the poop.A British association called Big Brother Watch found that 345 different town councils had invoked anti-terror laws 9607 times against pooping dogs and other equally heinous criminals 9607 times over a period of 3 years.

Hastings, on the other hand, liked the French idea, and in 2011 purchased four vacuums called "Henry the Hoover."
All vacuum cleaners are called "hoovers" in England.
The verb is "to hoover," as in, "I hoovered the carpet this morning."
The Hastings' Henrys probably look like this: 

The town council estimated that Henry would save them £420,000 a year.

In 2009, there were plans afoot in a small town in Germany to collect fur or saliva from all 420 resident dogs so as to do DNA matching and fine owners of any poop that might be found. 

I can't find any evidence that the scheme ever got off the ground.
DNA testing is starting to gain some traction in the U.S., however. As of August of this year, a company called PooPrints tracks down poopetrators for hundreds of property managers in 30 states.

The town of Petah Tivkah, near Tel Aviv, does DNA testing with a twist. If the poop examiner finds your dog's leavings a a marked receptacle, you get a reward--coupons for dog food or toys.

You get a reward for putting it here, a fine if you leave it on the street.

If he finds it anywhere else, you get a fine.

But sometimes, if the government fails to take action, and the private sector fails to see any financial incentive for collecting poop, you just have to take the law into your own hands. This is Super Vaclav.

He is Prague's self-appointed dog poop enforcer. If he sees your dog poop, and you don't pick it up, he will punish you by throwing it at you or smearing it on you. I doubt whether he is still active, but videos of him from 2011 are widely available.

Does anyone have any other ideas?