Dog owners across Prague have been slowly picking up more of their dog’s feces over the years, but the problem continues in many neighborhoods across the capital — and some owners fail to pay the fees associated with registering their dogs, barely covering the cost to clean the neighborhoods.
Dog owners picking up their dog’s feces has been a problem in Prague for years. According to City Hall officials in Prague 8, registered dogs will produce more than 180 tons of poop in that neighborhood this year. That’s the equivalent of 14 fully loaded Tatra 815 trucks.
In an effort to curb the problem, according to the mayor of Prague 3, authorities have significantly increased the fines for dog owners caught leaving their pup’s feces on the ground. Fines can cost up to 10,000 CZK, and most owners will pay around 2,000 CZK.
“We still have a long way to go. Although the problem concerns a minority of dog breeders, dog excrement spoils the impression of public spaces and costs us all a lot of money,” Jiří Ptáček (TOP 09), told Denik.
In many neighborhoods, fees collected from dog owners don’t cover cleaning costs associated with cleaning dog feces.
Officials in Prague 8 told Denik that the registration fees collected from dog owners do not cover their operating costs. In many cases, people don’t pay the fees associated with their dogs, weakening the city’s revenue. In Prague 8, almost a fifth of the owners of registered dogs did not pay their fees last year.
“Unfortunately, part of society still tends to be ruthless and selfish. People often mistakenly believe that if they pay fees for a dog, the city should take care of the cleaning. However, the fees do not cover the cleaning costs by far, “stated Kateřina Maršálová from Prague 6.
Prague 4 has some of the highest proportions of dog owners, according to Denik, but many of the bins for dog feces are often empty. The neighborhood has more than 1,000 places to dispose of dog waste.
Some owners don’t mind leaving dog poop on the street, but the situation has slowly been getting better.
“There are dog breeders who are not ashamed to leave the excrement in the middle of the newly paved sidewalk, but most of them clean up honestly. It can be said that our citizens behave better towards public space than in previous years,” said Andrea Zoulová, a spokeswoman for Prague 2.
In the first half of 2020, the Prague City Police marked more than 200 offenses relating to dog excrement and sidewalk pollution. Prague 5, 2, 3 and 14 had the largest number of offenses relating to dog excrement and sidewalk pollution.
Nearly 200 of those cases were negotiated through an agreement with police. Nineteen of those cases got a fine, the average of which was 660 CZK. Last year, police marked more than 400 offenses relating to dog excrement and sidewalk pollution. Of those tickets, 54 were filed. The average fine was 370 CZK.
“We see a big problem in the fact that dogs in many cases are walked by children and adolescents. In the case of children (under the age of 15), police officers cannot solve this offense at all, and in the case of juveniles, they can only impose a lower statutory fine. In the case of children and adolescents, therefore, parents should be an example in particular,” said Irena Seifertová, a spokeswoman for the Prague police officers.