Assignment 2 - Problem solving

Dogs should be banned from the city

Spring has arrived and with the melting of the snow we discover all the sins committed during the winter. There is dog poop everywhere! This is a problem. It’s not fun to get dog poop on my shoes, especially my new summer shoes. Right? So what can we do about this problem?

The authorities have put up special dog poop waste bins all around the city. Obviously they’re not used for their purpose since I still have to do zig-zag dance on the sidewalks to avoid the dog leftovers. This doesn’t seem to work. I am the first to admit that most dog owners are responsible people who brings poop bags with them to pick up after their darlings, but there are plenty who does not think that far ahead.

In Paris they have fines for people who doesn’t pick up their dog’s excrements. Now, that would work, if there was some way to determine which poop came from which dog. We don’t have the resources to send all the dog poop left in the streets for dna-analyzing. Not with the resources of the police and prosecutors strained as it is.

So my suggestion is that no dogs should be allowed in the city centre at any time. Of course there should be exceptions for guide dogs and other working dogs (police dogs, drug dogs and so forth) and dogs who live in the city centre, but not dogs that really has no business doing their business in the city centre. We banned cars from the city centre, you’re not allowed to drive on certain streets and in others you’re not allowed to drive at night. This could be the case for dogs too.

One could argue that dogs are a natural companions of humans and therefore should be allowed everywhere. That is true. Many people have testified about their faithful canine companions. However, I seriously doubt the dogs themselves find it very amusing to go shopping. They aren’t even allowed in shops or stores or restaurants. Now, if I was a dog I’d find it very tedious sitting outside a shop, tied up with no toys to chew on for hours on end. Maybe even forgotten by my owner. I’ve seen that happening. Imagine if it was a hot summer’s day also. Being tied up, sitting on hard, hot concrete with no shadow nor water available. That is just plain cruel. This is no way to treat your faithful companion, is it?

The way to enforce such a ban is to have every dog outfitted with a gps-chip. Most dogs are outfitted with chips as it is so it won’t be a major cost. Enter all dogs into a database. The Swedish Breeder’s Association has registers of all their member dogs already. Have a computer track all dogs at all times and if a dog is found on a street which is prohibited the computer makes a note of it and sends off an e-mail to the court and to the owner with a heavy fine. The fines would probably even finance the whole operation leaving no additional costs to the community.

Dogs have no business in the city centre. They’re in the way, they scare people and the owners leave the dog poop on the sidewalk. No, I think it’s time to ban dogs from the city centre. Dogs should have lots of space to run and toys to chew on and freedom to sniff whatever scent they want without having to fear dehydration, sun or broken glass in their paws. For me, the advantage would be no dog poop on my new summer shoes. It’s a win-win situation


1 comment:

Heather said...

Finally, I am able to comment to this post - for some reason blogger wasn't liking me over the weekend. And you know I have something to say about irresponsible dog owners.

First, there is the problem of taking dogs out to public places, especially crowded places. Dogs are supposed to be banned from events on the Capitol Square, and some other area events like 4th of July (except service dogs, of course), but there are still people who refuse to leave Fido at home where he belongs. This is a safety issue, too -- for both the dog and other people. Kids especially don't know not to approach strange dogs, and even dogs that don't usually bite can become easily stressed in crowded situations. They should be kept at home where they belong.

Second, are the dogs at our apartment complex. When we first moved in here, it was cats only, and all was good. The property was clean and well-kept. There used to be luscious thick grass right up to the stoop by both the south and north side entrances of our building, but since many dog owners are too lazy to take their dogs further than the back door...

Well, a dozen or more dogs all doing their business in one small area -- doesn't take a botany major to figure out that one! They have almost completely killed the grass outside both side entrances of our building. Try explaining that to management or the loser dog owners, though.

So, now we have no grass until about six feet out from the stoop, and the dirt patch expands every year. VERY annoying! They have tried reseeding it a couple of times, but since you can’t pound sense into the stupid dog owners’ heads...it’s been a waste of time, effort and money.

Then, of course, there are those owners who do not pick up after Fido as they are supposed to. You should have seen the disgusting mess uncovered by the melted snows. Yuck! Management sent a nasty warning letter out about that and flat out told dog owners that if they didn't start picking up after their dogs, they would lose the privilege of having them. Now if they could just catch the bad ones in the act!

Someone's dog has also gone in the middle of the wheelchair ramp and in the hallway during the past three weeks, and of course the owner didn't clean it up either time. A few of us told management, but unless you actually see who did it...not much you can do, other than make everyone get rid of their dogs.

NOT that that would break MY heart, but it sure wouldn't be fair to the few who actually walk and take care of their dogs as they should. And, as you mentioned, this can especially be a problem for someone in a wheelchair. Luckily, the mess on the ramp a few weeks ago was right in the middle, so the wheels didn’t track poo into our apartment, but it isn’t fun trying to push a chair up a ramp and not step in anything at the same time.