The dawns of Barcelona and those of so many cities could be traced following the path of dog piss. Dogs, they are all dogs, in Barcelona. The phrase stolen from Rafael Alberti dedicated to the cats of Rome (“everything is cat piss”) comes to mind in any corner. Civilized Barcelonans with the collection of canine poop (apparently the majority are accustomed to collecting it, although habits vary according to neighborhood), they have a pending issue: urine, those long morning pisses on ‘panots’, tiles, lampposts and everything type of urban furniture. The daily accumulation of pee (it is already known that where a dog urinates, they pee a hundred) has a corrosive effect that also costs a lot in repair and maintenance. Very few dog owners dissolve their pee with a stream of water. One in a hundred? Namely. Solving it is difficult in a country that, according to statistics, finds more dogs than children on the streets.
The administrations’ recommendation on this dilemma is to urge dog owners to Carry a bottle with soap and water to clean urine. Since 2017, different city councils took a step to make it compulsory. From the one in Mataró they report: “Four years ago the ordinance was put into effect that obliges the owners of dogs or any other animal on the street to adopt the necessary measures so that they do not dirty the streets and/or spaces with their depositions. and especially to avoid urination in parks and gardens used by children”. The one in Sitges has currently put the emphasis on poop. The urine will be later.
Mataró, like Premià de Mar, are an example of civilization and solidarity. Pet owners are required to carry a bottle of soapy water on their walks. In this way urine is prevented from oxidizing the streets and causing bad odors and it improves public health. Some municipalities carry out programs to inform and raise awareness among the population about the importance of this new initiative. “It’s a good solution so that, at least, in summer, the bad smell of the streets goes away. There are streets in Premià where the smell and dirt don’t even let you go through there. Although there are times when I don’t know if the pee it is from dogs or humans, and those are not so controlled,” says Vinyet with his dog Rumba.
The people from Mataró who have chatted with this newspaper seem to be clear about it and are committed to the new council ordinance. “I always carry the water bottle and the bags, I don’t like that the street where I walk smells bad. People have to take care of the place where they live, children play on the ground and it should be clean,” says Tilita, 48, who, along with her daughter, has gone out for a walk with her dog with a bottle of water in her hands. Some carry the bottle between the course of their house to the beach, since they know that their dog could urinate at any time on public roads.”If dogs pee on the walls or in public places, The minimum is to clean it a little. We always carry a bottle of water when we walk him down the street. If we go to the mountains or to the beach, we no longer throw water. But on the sidewalks, always,” explains 30-year-old Valenti.
Many carry the bottle in a backpack or by hand, but you can already see the most ingenious carrying the bottle tied to a belt. “I always carry the bottle tied here, so I never leave it behind and, when I run out of water, I refill it in a fountain. I think it’s no longer a matter of cleaning, but of each person’s responsibility to clean what dirty their own dog,” Esteve says as he wipes up the urine his dog Kratos had just made on a public lamppost.
However, although the majority say they always carry a bottle of water, some citizens of Mataró they don’t quite agree. “Obviously I think it is a super necessary regulation, but I have not seen anyone who carries the bottle. Recently a person with his dog has passed, he has peed here next to the bench where we are sitting and the smell has left us there “, says Carmen, 72 years old. She states that it is normal not to see anyone with the bottle.
Fewer sanctions and more spaces
Although most accept and promote the regulation of the bottle with soapy water, they also criticize the little space that there is for pets in Mataró. “They have to enable more spaces for dogs. I am in favor of bringing a bottle of water, but we should also bear in mind that every time I want to go for a walk with my dog, I have to go to the mountains because the beach now that the summer season begins is not They let us go and this space that we used to pipican has now been closed because they are going to build something. So I wonder: Where are we going now?” Mireia protests that, with her dog Luna, she continues to use the small fenced space so that Luna can run without the need to go on a leash.
Barcelona. no soapy water bottle
In the city of Barcelona this new initiative is not yet mandatory, only recommended. “It is difficult for this requirement to be met in Barcelona, since it is not mandatory, there are no penalties if you do not bring a bottle of soapy water. It would be nice if everyone cleaned both the urination and the excrement of their pets, but not there is a law that forces that, people don’t do it and only a few do it of their own free will”, says Anna Franco, press director of the Barcelona’s town hall. However, despite the fact that the Barcelona ordinance has not established it as mandatory to carry a bottle of water and soap to clean pets’ urination, it does establish an obligation that allows sanctioning those owners who do not clean the urine that may affect public elements or public spaces like playgrounds. “Barcelona smells bad. You go out into the street and there are smells everywhere, on top of that you can’t even walk in some areas because they are full of urine. There are times when I don’t know if it’s animal or human urine,” explains Susana Bernal, 42. However, not everyone carries the bottle. “I think it’s a good initiative to keep the city cleaner, but we have to also understand that there are many times that I, for example, leave quickly in a hurry and do not take the bottle or I forget, like now. I don’t think the bad smells in the city are just the fault of people who don’t have a bottle of water,” says Pablo Cordero, 45 years old.
Fines of up to 700 euros
Some Spanish cities such as Albacete, València, Almería, Cádiz, Seville and Tarragona warn their citizens that they could be required by the agents to demonstrate that they actually have the necessary bags to remove the excrement and the bottle of soapy water for the urine. Failure to comply with this new regulation of carrying a bottle with clean water with sufficient capacity to eliminate any trace of urine from urban furniture, buildings or sidewalks, would mean penalties ranging from 700 to 1,000 euros. “It seems to me a very good initiative to control the city or the town, to make sure that everything is a little cleaner. Even so, I think the penalty is a bit high, since I have sometimes left the bottle for leaving in a hurry and I’m scared because 700 euros is a lot of money,” complains Roser, 52, who despite normally carrying the bottle admits that he sometimes leaves it at home. Still, some claim that if the sanctions were not so high, people would not comply with the regulations. “We’ve been doing it for a long time and I hope that in the end, everyone ends up doing the same thing. It’s a big fine, but if it wasn’t like that, people would end up totally passing by,” says Laura as she drinks something with the bottle of soapy water beside.
In order to reach a greater number of civilians, the National Police has shared a tweet in which it recommends its followers to always go down to the street with a bottle of soap and water: “We are almost done with collecting the feces of our pets. Now let’s see if we can get down with a bottle and clarify their urine, “says the body in a tweet.
We are almost over collecting the 💩 of our pets 🐶
Now let’s see if we can get down with a little bottle and clear up his urine💦
— National Police (@police) April 5, 2022