For many people, nothing sparks rage more than dog owners who refuse to clean up their dogs’ mess. Be it a sidewalk, community park, or even a front lawn, some dog owners simply leave the poop in its birthplace, ready for an unwitting resident to ruin their day in it.
But as dog adoptions have seen a sharp increase over the pandemic, in some areas this problem has only gotten worse. Tel Aviv is one such area, where they have found local residents leaving dog poop lying around the city has become a rather stinky problem. So, the city is taking the fight back to dog owners – 21st century-style.
The Tel Aviv city council approved a motion earlier this week to establish a database that holds the DNA of all dogs within the city, which will be compared to DNA found in abandoned excrement. Through this, authorities will be able to track the dastardly dog owners that don’t clean up and issue them a fine, which the council is also trying to increase.
Involved in the motion will be a requirement by all dog owners to submit their pets’ DNA upon renewing their dog ownership license (Tel Aviv requires dog owners to obtain a license before purchase), which will be within 6 months of the new regulation coming into effect.
“The amendment to the law was approved as part of the municipality’s persistent fight against the phenomenon of dog feces not being collected by their owners across the city,” the municipality said in a statement to The Times Of Israel.
“The existence of a DNA database of dogs in the city will make it possible to perform samples for feces on the street, thus enforcing the law against the dog owner even after the offense has been committed, in a way that will address the main challenge in enforcing and eradicating the phenomenon,”
Should your left-behind dog poo be discovered and traced back to you, the municipality would mail through the current fine of 730 shekels ($222 or £161) direct to your door.
Tel Aviv has been combatting the issue of rampant dog feces for a while. There have since been multiple initiatives put in place to prevent it – from direct calls to action asking dog owners to be more responsible, to introducing options to trade dog fouling fines, to more productive options such as tuition hours or volunteering at dog shelters.
This latest option appears to be a last resort, taking a heavy-handed approach to crack down on the mess.
“The cleanliness of the public space is an integral part of the city’s appearance,” said the Tel Aviv council.