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Dogs, dogs, and more dogs

When you visit Amsterdam you can’t help noticing that the Dutch loves dogs. They’re everywhere — in sizes ranging from vest pocket to small horse.

As a general rule, the smaller the dog the more noise it produces — and the bigger the dog the more, well, used dog food is processed.

If you have ever been to Amsterdam you know that dogs cannot read. Neither, it seems, can most of their owners.

Throughout the city, special tiles can be spotted on the sidewalks, sporting a stylized dog getting ready to make a deposit, alongside the text, “Hond in the goot.” This means “Dog in the Gutter,” and the sentiment behind the sign is that dogs should not be allowed to turn the sidewalk into a minefield.

While it was already mandatory to pick up after one’s dog, you didn’t have to bother as long as the dog did his or her business in the gutter.

At the end of last year that bit is of liberty became a thing of the past, as the approach turned out to be rather ineffective.

Now the city is upping the ante. As of this week, anyone walking a dog must carry a plastic bag or a shovel with which to properly dispose of their dog’s poop.

Members of the Sanitation Police are authorized to present violators with €50 fines.

For the time being, though, our advice is that you still keep an eye on the street.

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This post was last updated: May. 30, 2007