French people love their pets. My parents have a dog, a cat and around 15 lovebirds. And they call them their babies since my brother and I left the nest several years ago. It is not rare to see a Parisian whose only “family” is a dog. That said, maybe related to the destruction of the family cell I talked about last time, it is not surprising that Paris counts more than 200 000 dogs for a population of around 1 million people…
That many dogs leads to one serious issue that has been plaguing Paris and its streets for many years: dog poop. Parisians love dogs but do not like to pick-up after them (a case of incivility we could discuss later) hence the need to watch where you step while you walk in the streets of Paris! When I was living in Paris, there was this side street 2 blocks away from my place that we used to call dog-shit-alley because all the dog-owners of the neighborhood had decided to use it for their dogs. That street was the worst street ever and if you had to take it, it was better to walk in the middle of it than on the sidewalks.
hum, enough details… :).
To fight this, the cleaning services have been more and more creative including the “in”famous but now disappeared “motocrotte” (poopybike!) as well as the construction of special areas all over Paris.
But nothing is changing and Parisians, as French people in general and other nationalities I guess, understanding only when it hits their wallet, the town hall started a new campaign to remind them that not cleaning after their dog can cost them €183 (around $220 as of today). This new campaign is named “Paris, c’est chez vous” (Paris is your home) with TV commercials as well as posters all over the city like this one:
It is quite visual! But sadly I am not sure it will change anything except if people start to get fined aggressively and Parisian cops usually have better things to do than track dogs and their uncivilized owners.
Until better times, while in Paris, do not forget to watch your steps ;).