My neighborhood has a wide sidewalk around the local junior school which used to be great for strollers and joggers, except that it’s now carpeted in dog crap. It’s also a quiet area because the streets are pretty narrow and aren’t exactly a short cut to of from anywhere. Well, it would be quiet but for the lonely cries of some of the local mutts and the arguments between the others.
For a long time I thought I was the only one who cares or is bothered by this, but I’m not. The school is pretty annoyed with all the poop around it’s perimeter so they started putting up notices around their walls to ask the owners to be more public spirited and clean up the poop. Result: The poop started accumulating the darkest (at night) part of the perimeter where the offenders would be less easy to spot. Since dogs can’t read (AFAIK) I guess it’s owners idea to escape attention. Many of the notices were also defaced or removed, so I guess some people are offended that they should be asked to clean up after their pets.
Our building management association chief also got a bug up his ass about since he and his wife used to like to jog around there, and some of the other residents had also complained about it. He’d been to the li chang to discuss but go nowhere, so he decided to write our wonderful mayor (Jason Who?) about the problem.
Jason Who?s response was that it the responsibility of the education ministry to keep the sidewalk clear of crap, not his. Buck-passing at it’s finest… blame the victim. The education ministry insist that it’s the duty of the EPA to fix this. EPA’s response is to ask us (the offended) to collect evidence that it can act on. Oh, finally someone is prepared to take some action rather than pass the buck on? Don’t get so excited…
As has been mentioned in previous discussions, EPA needs us to do the whole job for them. We have to get evidence of the offence (photos of the dog crapping and of the owner), plus the name and address of the owner. Like anyone doing this is going to first let you take photos of them and then provide you (Joe Citizen) with their name and address so you can have them prosecuted. Puh-lease. Dont you just love the way the system works here, all the outward appearance of rule of law, and none of the utility?
So after a lot of wasted effort our crusader gave up, and we just don’t use the sidewalk anymore. I just walk in the street now because I don’t have to look out for dog crap there … it’s all on the sidewalk. The kids from the school have to come out once or twice a week to clean their perimeter before it becomes a health hazard. The only comic relief from this crappy business was that Jason Who? claimed to have established a standard which the city should meet regarding the amount of crap on the streets. Every li should only ever have 55 pieces of crap in it. When pushed for clarification as to whose responsibility it was to meet that standard the answer was… silence. I need a copy of that letter for when I need a good laugh.
So, still not daunted by this failure our crusader focused upon the noise problem. We have now about ten dogs in a building with forty units, and the neighboring buildings have dogs too, so it gets pretty damn noisy. Unfortunately, animal control says it has to be on site when the offending dog is barking to able to do anything about it. Recordings are not acceptable. Statements by witnesses are not acceptable. I can imagine that after one or two wasted visits to a site they are going to stop coming out, so again the system seems to be designed purposely to fail.
I’m curious as to what level this nuisance has to rise to before something will change. Obviously the systems in place are there to provide the illusion of regulation, not the reality. How deep does the crap have to get before something will actually get done to change the behaviour of the owners? How loud does the barking have to get before people will stop buying more dogs? When is dog ownership going to fall from fashion and these people move onto the next thing they think is going to make them look cool? When are all these people who lack the time to properly care for a pet just going to get rid of them?
Before the Forumosan dog owners chime in to tell me that their pet doesn’t bark or cry, or that they always pick up it’s crap, I’ll say thank you to them. You don’t need to post that information. I don’t dislike dogs. I just don’t want to listen to them or have to walk through their toilet.