Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drumchapel Housing Co-operative - Mutt Shots!

Once again, we are back in Scotland. Drumchapel Housing Co-operative has come to the attention of the Clydebank Post.

What can possibly be the cause of this interest. Yes, you guessed it, dog fouling!

With a clever play on words, the campaign is described as "mutt shots". Those of you, who are familiar with law enforcement programmes from the US will instantly think of "mug shots". You would be quite right to do so!

As the Clydebank Post explains; Drumchapel Housing Co-op holds a photographic register of their tenants' pets as well as details of the name, age, breed, colour, sex and a written description of each animal.

This enables housing officers to identify the owners of pets in the event of antisocial behaviour such as continual barking, dog fouling or aggression towards other animals or humans.

The landlord currently has 150 animals on file and owners responsible for antisocial behaviour, such as dog fouling, are in breach of their tenancy agreement.

They will receive a fixed penalty notice and ultimately risk losing their homes if they fail to clean up their act.

That said, the Daily Record sees it differently. It explains that the measure has been brought in because pet detectives in Glasgow find it hard in the winter months to identify owners covered up with scarves and hats.

This seems a more likely explanation as CCTV is used to identify owners, who do not clear up. CCTV has been a much debated issue on this blog but it appears that Scotland is taking a much harder line in this area. City council leader Gordon Matheson (right) said: "Pet registers, ssuch as the one compiled by Drumchapel Housing Cooperative, are very useful for establishing the identity of the owners of animals involved in anti-social behaviour". This is welcome support from the council leader but I note that he makes no observations about the use of CCTV. Does this mean anything? I don't know. I do know that Rani Dhir MBE (left), who is a director of Drumchapel Housing states; "We have been encouraging our tenants to report any antisocial behaviour involving dogs which may have been fouling or causing a nuisance. We intend to follow up their reports where we have good evidence. We also recognise that there are many responsible dog owners who have registered their dogs, take them out only on a leash and clean up after them - they need have no concerns that their pets will be a target."Does Rani approve of the use of CCTV? Again, I don't know. Rani is, however, a member of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. I have no idea what the findings of the Commission will be. Indeed, here at Dog Fouling and Red Rubber Bandsm we eschew party politics of any kind. We can, however, observe that, whether Scotland becomes independent or not, there will be no room for hiding if you let your dog foul the streets or parks.
Personally, I can't wait for the first identification parade to take place!

Marie Hannigan is also Scottish and works in communities and housing. She has a personal dream that we will be able to recycle dog poo. Although she offers no solution, it is worth hearing her express her heartfelt desire!


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