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article imageDog poo attracts huge fines in Vienna, Austria

By Anne Sewell     May 15, 2014 in World
Vienna - Viennese photographer Daniel S. made the mistake of forgetting a "doggy bag" when taking his dog, Kessja, for a walk in the city. She did what comes naturally on the grassy verge of the road and he got hit by a 470 euro fine.
It turned out to be an expensive walk when 28-year-old Daniel S. stayed overnight with his girlfriend and had none of the necessary plastic "doggy bags" on him when walking his pet.
As Kessja did her business, it turns out two local government employees were watching and immediately arrived on the scene. Daniel apologized and told the men he would get a bag from his car to clean up the mess, but apparently it was too late. He was to be fined and, as he had no cash with him to pay the fine then and there, was told he would receive the fine in the mail.
He got an extremely nasty shock a couple of days later, when a letter arrived saying he owed a hefty 470 euros for his crime. He told the Austrian newspaper, Heute (German language), that he thinks they want to make an example of him.
However, a spokesman from the local government office in charge of doggie poo fines told the newspaper that "the person concerned may appeal against the high fine and we will then look into the matter."
The Local reports that there are over 52,000 dogs registered in Vienna and the city disposes of 1,100 tons of dog waste each year. That is a lot of poop.
For this reason, Vienna has decided to launch a "clean city" campaign and their priority right now is the battle against dog fouling in the streets and parks. They want local dog owners to take more responsibility and dogs are banned from fouling pavements, pedestrian areas and residential streets.
To keep track of the culprits, the city has launched a mobile task force appropriately called the "waste watchers."
Dog owners who fail to clean up the mess will normally face a fine of up to 225 euros and can even face arrest. It seems Daniel's dog must have made a really big pile to attract a fine more than double the norm. Makes one wonder if he was a little rude to the diligent "waste watchers?"
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