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Home: Pet: Dog: Waste
Dog poo cleanup   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
collective responsibility for dog owners

Require all urban dog owners to be licenced. Each owner is then allocated a portion of the town or city, usually one close to their home. It is their responsibility to keep this area clear of dog mess. Periodic inspections are carried out and if an area is found to be consistently fouled the 'owner' of this area can be fined or in extreme circumstances have their dog confiscated to the pound.

I know what you're thinking - it sounds pretty draconian but at the moment we have a system where dog mess is the responsibility of the owner of the dog that made it. This sounds fairer but is essentially unenforcable without an army of poop wardens or DNA analysis of each deposit.

By requiring dog owners to assume collective responsibility for the problem of their pets sh*tting over the community we get away from the situation where some owners will deny point-blank that the turd in question came from their dog, despite the fact that you *saw* it fall (this has actually happened to me).

I know that lots of dog owners are extremely responsible and will conscientiously scoop their own pet's mess but the beauty of my system is that these good folk are not penalised by the miscreants. Under my regime they should have no more poop to scoop than they would from their own dog. You'd have to have smaller patches along popular dog-walking routes to keep the poop-count equal, of course.
-- gravelpit, Jun 20 2001

Dog Tax
Germany already has one, though the French are more amusing. This article has a particularly good picture of a "caninette" [rmutt, Jun 20 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

If your dog craps in my area (assuming I had a dog - which I don't), why should I clean it up? This would only work if your dog could be confined to your area.
-- angel, Jun 20 2001

Yeah, I've slipped on dog poo as well.
-- hippo, Jun 20 2001

This can have a pastry because I live opposite a park that dog-walkers use constantly. I'm afraid to cross it, for hippo's reason.
-- CoolerKing, Jun 20 2001

A strict liability system like the one you're proposing generally sacrifices some equity to reduce transaction costs. However, this sacrifices a lot of equity and doesn't really reduce transaction costs (while it means that *someone* is held responsible, it makes people incur a lot of expense in policing and cleaning up "their area"). If you implement this, people are going to have to hire others to clean it up, and if you do that you might as well be efficient and just raise the price of the license to pay for city-wide cleanup.
-- bookworm, Jun 20 2001

waugs, the dog owners will still very likely have to clean some mess up even if it's not their own dog's. If they're walking their dog in someone else's area, then it's likely that someone else is walking their dog in the first guy's area.
-- CoolerKing, Jun 20 2001

This doesn't deal adequately with enforcement. Unlicensed dog owners should be captured, thrown into the backs of cage-windowed vans, and kept behind bars in a detention facility until a relative comes to collect them or a sympathetic member of the public adopts them.
-- Monkfish, Jun 20 2001

angel: you have to clean up someone else's dog mess because that's what they will be doing for you when you walk your dog outside your home patch. Unless you find your dog's poo significantly less unpleasant than that of strange dogs, it doesn't really matter who's you are scraping off the pavement.

waugsqueke: since your poop zone is normally outside your house, you can't avoid walking your dog through it. It's true that this system has the side-effect of discouraging owners from walking their dog exclusively within the home zone but that's just good for the dog as he gets more variety in his walk.

bookworm: No one will have to hire people to clean up the mess. There are still as many poop scoopers as dogs. All this system does is make sure that *everyone* scoops their share in an easy-to-audit way.
-- gravelpit, Jun 23 2001

DNA analysis is no longer necessary. Dog Poo Ballistics is law-enforcement's proven cost-effective alternative.
-- The Military, Jun 23 2001

A much fairer way would be to penalise those, who don't pick up after their dog, by making them clear up all the poo in a given area. The worse the offense; i.e. poo left in the middle of the pavement/in a town centre, as opposed to on a grass area, or even better in an overgrown area where no-one walks; the larger the area they have to clean up.

Thus, the innocent are not penalised in any way.
-- lorddave, Jun 24 2001

Seems unfair if for instance you clean up after your own chihuahua which rarely ever leaves your property, and are then expected to go down the road and clean up after the neighbourhood great dane.
-- Helium, Jun 24 2001

random, halfbakery