New task force but YOU should be doing part of their job!
Is Tenerife, or at least parts of it, being turned into a green and septic isle?
I ask because of the growing and in some cases unchecked menace of dog excrement.
With 60 years of journalism under my belt, I know if I write a story of cruelty to a pet my inbox will overflow with outraged animal lovers expressing horror …
But what if it’s YOUR pet leaving an unwelcome, odious and highly toxic calling card on a pavement or a public place?
Just how many of you reach for a pooper-scooper or plastic bag to remove the unwanted mess?
Well, I’m saddened to report: not enough.
Here, in Los Gigantes, moves are underway to form a team of volunteers whose aim is to support the council in improving the environment and rid the village of grot spots.
Part of their remit would be to remove dog litter along the way … but, wait a minute, if you’re a pet owner what are you doing to support that initiative?
One local dog owner tells me proudly when he takes his pet for a walk he takes two packages: one with bags to tidy the mess, the other filled with water to clean the pavement afterwards.
Just how many more of you do that? Or do you just blithely ignore the mess?
In a note to me on social media a local confides she was “astounded” by the amount of dog faeces when she visited Los Cristianos.
Talking of the mess she says: “It’s always been around but now it is unbelievable. On two occasions we saw them hosing down whole areas with massive water wagons.
“It much cost a fortune …there maybe six operatives for each water wagon.”
I understand Adeje Ayuntamiento’s Health Department has launched a fresh campaign to increase awareness and the need to take responsibility for their pets’ public behaviour.
The ‘Échame una pata’ (give me a paw) offers a free gift of doggy poop bags and pee-pee cleaning bottles for owners who register their four-legged friend on the animal census.
“Social harmony in our town has to be respected at all levels,” says health councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo. “Some pet owners need to make more of an effort to respect communal zones and public spaces used by us all, making sure dogs are on a lead and picking up and cleaning up after them.
“A society that loves animals is a society that is developing along the right lines, with a special connection to respect for all forms of life.
“Owning a pet brings with it duties and obligations, ” she asserts.
Leaflets will be distributed in schools and municipal installations, backed by posters, ads, information on social media, encouraging people to make sure their pets are on the census and have a microchip, which is man-datory for animals over three months of age.
And in an ultra positive move, it will remind people animals are not allowed in public pools, beaches, bathing areas, playgrounds or green zones at any time of the year.
And my dog owning friend adds this caveat: “It’s the dog owner, not the pet, who is responsible for the way it behaves…”
Admirable sentiments. But let’s reverse the roll just for a second: how would irrespo-nsible pet owners behave if their neighbours started to defecate on pavements?