Local police clampdown on pet owners
Elche officers issue more than 500 ‘denuncia’ reports
By Alex Watkins FOLLOWING a wave of complaints about problems caused by pets, Elche local police embarked on a week of inspections in the most troublesome areas, including squares and gardens in the city as well as rural districts.
The campaign resulted in 528 reports for breaking the municipal bylaw, 42% for not having the required documentation, or not being registered.
The local police located eight animals that did not have a microchip.
The next most common complaints were dogs being walked without a lead or allowed to defecate or urinate in a prohibited area, of which there were 159 (30%) and 95 (18%) cases respectively.
“Despite residents’ feelings, a very high percentage of owners were picking up their dogs’ excrement, but unfortunately the few who don’t do it are enough to cause visually undesirable situations,” said a spokesman for the force.
“On the other hand, there was a lack of conscientiousness about dogs urinating in prohibited places and owners frequently did not rinse it effectively with a bottle of water.”
A total of 27 owners of potentially dangerous breeds of dog were reported for not putting a muzzle on them, and 14 for letting them be walked by unauthorised people, for example children.
One such dog was taken to the municipal animal shelter because the owner did not have any documentation or a muzzle, and it will remain there until they are obtained.
The spokesman noted that ‘although many of these breeds are very good-natured, they can still react unpredictably, especially with other animals’.
Last month a dog being walked in Peña de las Águilas was killed by two others that had escaped from a home.
And on October 24 a patrol went to hospital with the family of a three-year-old boy who had been bitten by the family dog.
The Labrador reacted instinctively when the child approached as it was eating, injuring his face and scalp.
“This shows that although no dog is exempt from a similar reaction, the potential danger of animals with certain physical characteristics are clear and need to be reduced,” said the spokesman.
A dog was impounded because the owner did not have a muzzle - although police found one for the animal