Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Town with Dog Poop Problem Sends Poop Back to Owners Via Special Delivery

Volunteers merrily prepare a box of fetid poop for delivery.

Volunteers merrily prepare a box of fetid poop for delivery.

In an effort to send a strong message to all of the pooper-scooper scofflaws in Brunete, Spain, and there seem to have been a lot of them, the town’s government kicked off a sting operation in February 2013 that not only solved the problem, but got rid of the offending poop to boot.

Starting in February about 20 volunteers have been keeping close watch on those walking their dogs, and striking up conversations with any who did not scoop their pet’s poop, as is prescribed by town law. Volunteers would stealthily obtain the offending owner’s dog’s name and breed, then collect and label the feces for Town officials. Officials had only to check their database of registered dogs to get the owners’ names and addresses.

What is unusual about this particular poop-scooping campaign is not what they do to with the information, it’s what they do with the poop: They send it back to the owner with the threat of a fine.

Yes, the illicit poop was boxed up in a special box from the town marked ”lost property” and delivered to negligent owners by courier. Included was the promise of a fine the next time they were caught, and, to top it off, officials made sure there was a cameraman present to immortalize each recipient’s reaction.

In February the town reportedly sent 147 such packages to offending owners, and has since seen a 70% reduction in recidivism. As for the reason, a representative for the town told UPI “We’re not sure whether that’s because they’re more afraid of getting their dogs’ excrement delivered back to them than of being fined.” We’re guessing it’s probably a combination of the two; repeat offenders probably get a fine and fetid poop in the mail. All in all an impressively effective use of tax dollars.

See the official campaign video:

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