Commend Unconventional Incentive to Clean Up Pet Waste

dog walkers

Target: Borja Gutiérrez, Mayor of Brunete, Spain

Goal: Applaud Mayor Gutiérrez for incentivizing cleanup of pet waste

If caught failing to clean up after one’s dog, the typical consequence is a heavy fine. Given rough economic times for his residents, Mayor Gutiérrez looked to advertising agency McCann Erickson to appeal to owners themselves to keep their pets’ waste out of public spaces. Volunteers in Brunete, Spain, roam parks and sidewalks, occasionally asking names of dogs whose owners fail to pick up after them. Within hours, owners receive a white box labeled “Lost and Found” with poop enclosed, a special delivery courtesy of Mayor Gutiérrez’s ‘direct marketing’ campaign.

Perhaps seen as a political disadvantage for the mayor, the unique strategy has made international news for Burnete. Moreover, the campaign actually seeks to address a common complaint gleaned from Gutiérrez’s hundreds of home visits with Burnete residents. On the campaign’s logic, the mayor comments for the New York Times: ‘It’s your dog. It’s your dog’s poop. We are just returning it to you.’

Meeting some resistance, the campaign has triggered a few resentful phone calls for the mayor. Dog owners even have taken to withholding their dogs’ names from strangers. Nevertheless, the two-week campaign has affected an estimated 70 percent improvement in city-wide pet waste since its inception several months ago. Mayor Gutiérrez actually plans to implements new – as of yet undisclosed – strategies to hold dog owners accountable for attending to their dogs.

By signing the petition below, you can recognize Mayor Gutiérrez and the residents of Brunete, Spain, for implementing an innovative strategy to incentivize more responsible pet ownership, promoting resident participation in the process.


Dear Mayor Gutiérrez and Residents of Brunete, Spain,

I am writing to commend you on your innovative campaign that returns dog waste to owners who fail to pick up after their pets. Your assertive leadership offers a dual incentive, promoting more responsible pet ownership and encouraging residents to take part in improving their community. This original strategy represents the great potential for success when both government and people cooperate for a common good.

I also applaud you for your persistence in tackling this issue. Responding to rough economic times, you strive to address this common complaint among residents without putting further financial strain on them in the heavy fines typical for owners failing to clean up after their pets. I wish you luck on your continuing efforts to devise innovative solutions to resident issues, and thank you for your campaign, paradoxically bold and discreet, to remind dog owners of their responsibility to their pets and their community.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Barbara McLean via

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65 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • Alice Rim
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  • James Thrailkill
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