In some New York neighborhoods, flower beds characterize the most luxurious urban planning and in districts like the Upper East Side, for some time now, the little sign restrain the dog (Stop your dog) has become one more element of the landscape of those small green areas full of flowers and plants.
The request to the dog owners not to stop their pets in the corners of those flower beds or on the sidewalks, points out that it is not only in Barcelona where the problem of animal dirt exists. It is a widespread, global problem, if we except Tokyo, where it is impossible to find an animal remains, a cigarette butt or a piece of paper.
As we approach the electoral date in which the next municipal president will be determined, the dirtiness of the city is the second concern of the people of Barcelona, according to the recent survey published by this newspaper. The dirt is palpable in every street and there is a clamor to reverse this situation. The mayoress of Barcelona Ada Colau has not done her homework and today, walking down any street in the city looks pitiful. Dirt, bad smell, bacteria, insects…
It is ironic that the message of a green city launched by Colau and his team coincides with their lack of urban hygiene and Barcelona is one of the dirtiest cities in Europe. The new containers, moreover, are not enough and wherever they are they appear surrounded by dry leaves, waste, abandoned clothing, food scraps, cans, bottles, furniture, mattresses and cardboard. The Barcelona environment is deplorable.
You have to be very critical of Colau in this regard. It is not unfair to say it clearly: Barcelona is very, very, very dirty. But it would be somewhat reductionist if the people of Barcelona were not also accused of causing this situation. Thousands of citizens contribute minute by minute to degenerate the environment of the city with their carelessness, their animals and the lack of respect for their citizens and their obligations, clearly included in the municipal ordinances.
In Spain, in 2019, there were a total of 13 million dogs, and the College of Veterinarians had a census of 174,316 dogs identified with a chip last summer in Barcelona. These data can give us the dimension of the gigantic canine population in our environment and its hygienic consequences.
The need for pets to go outside, the little use of dog areas, the free rein of dogs in green areas where they are prohibited from walking without restraint and the uncivilized behavior of many of their owners, fill Barcelona with waste and rivers of dirty water that cause a bad smell and an unjustifiable urban appearance. The urgent need for janitors and owners of shops and large establishments to have to clean the sidewalks with the remains of incivility over and over again is, moreover, a complete urban injustice.
The need for pets to go out into the street and the uncivilized behavior of many of their owners fill Barcelona with waste and rivers of dirty water
Pets, especially dogs, are amazing at sharing the lives of people and families. They are beings of incredible loyalty that show their affection to those who treat them well and offer to accompany their masters/companions at all times.
Neglecting dogs, not reciprocating their affection, is leaving their traces on the street, even if it is hidden with water. Leaving traces or signs of your passage is unacceptable. Unlike New York, Barcelona should not let property owners have to end up putting up the Stop Your Dog sign.
Barcelona should seriously stop the owners of dogs that do not comply with the ordinances. Fine them as many times as necessary. Animals are not what cause dirt, are some of their owners. And it is not only Ada Colau who is responsible for this dirty Barcelona, but also the thousands of citizens who criticize her, who are incapable of behaving. In the next electoral campaign, make no mistake, the debate should not focus on animals, but on some of their owners, and how to reverse their behavior.