There’s nothing like a brisk walk outdoors: the sun shining on your face, the birds chirping in the trees, and the dog poo squishing under your shoe.
As avid walkers, we find ourselves griping about inconsiderate dog-walkers on a regular basis. If you’re taking your dog for a stroll, bring a bag. It’s not that hard. No one is buying the oh-so-apologetic “I had no idea he would do something like this, so I find myself utterly unprepared” shrug you try to give passersby as your dog proceeds to squat down in the middle of the walkway.
But since signage doesn’t seem to shame offending parties into cleaning up after their pets, it appeared little could be done to cut down on the number of canine-created landmines pedestrians must dodge on a daily basis.
Enter McCann Madrid.
The town of Brunete, on the outskirts of Madrid, teamed up with the agency to tackle the problem on a limited budget. The agency’s solution was to employ 20 volunteers to patrol the streets, watching for dog owners who skirted their poop-and-scoop responsibilities.
When an offending party was spotted, a volunteer would approach the unsuspecting dog owner, and engage them in a friendly conversation about their pooch. Then, using only the name and breed of the dog in question, they looked up the owner’s address via the Town Hall pet census databases, packaged up the abandoned dog poop as “Lost Property,” and returned it to the guilty party via courier.
Gross? Totally. Creepy in a stalker-ish sort of way? Definitely. But it’s pretty hard to argue with the results: According to the agency, there has been a 70% drop in the amount of poop on Brunete’s streets. 70 percent!