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What to Do with Doggie Doo?

Residents in Beijing's Liuyinjie area consider the doggie toilets constructed in their neighborhood to be a complete failure. Now the area's residential committee is drafting new ways to clean up dog waste.

The dog houses marked "Pet Toilets" have been in place along the neighborhood's streets for half a year, but so far have proved useless.

"After one dog urinates in the toilet, other dogs will not enter it because they can tell by the smell," said Zhou Naiwei, a woman dog owner in the area.

Local owners have come to the conclusion that the designer of the pet toilets must not in fact be a pet owner.

Liuyinjie residential area is located next to Houhai Lake. It is also where the much frequented scenic spot Gongwangfu, or Prince Gong's Palace, is located. There are 78 licensed dog owners in the area, where 1,200 families reside.

Xin Jungao, the 44-year-old director of the Liuyinjie Residential Committee, a grass-root residents' service and management institution, considers removing dog waste from the streets an issue of face.

In April, a Dog Owners' Association was set up, with 27 members. The association vows that they will clear up not only their own pooches' poo, but also that of other dogs left on the sidewalks.

Zhou Naiwei, owner of a three-year-old dog, believes that a lot of dog owners don't clean up after their pet in the early morning and when they chat with other people, letting their pets run loose around them.

A city dog management rule clearly stipulates that dog owners should clear up dog refuse outdoors, and that those who do not, can be fined 50 yuan (US$6). But the scanty number of executive staff and the early dictated time of dog strolling makes the rules almost impossible to carry out.

"Solving the problem by law enforcement is an ideal condition that can not be reached at present," observed Zhou. "Today we can only set examples by ourselves and hopefully, other dog owners will follow."

(China Daily July 1, 2005)


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