surinenglish

A dog's DNA

Like all dog owners in Malaga I've recently had to register my pet's genetic profile so that if one day I forget to clean up his poo I'll be located and get into trouble. I don't agree with the regulation; it will be counterproductive and we still don't know whether the samples have legal validity. But I comply with regulations, because we live by the rule of law and that's what we do. The chance to change the law will come around.

The Local Police in the city have started to ask people for their papers, and if they haven't got them they're giving them a fine. People are saying in animal activist forums - now with WhatsApp we know everything - that the first penalties have been dished out in the nice neighbourhood of Teatinos. There's no problem there to ask a lady with her chihuahua on a lead if she would kindly hand over her pet's papers. It's as if they are making an example out of her, so that the rest of us who live in decent middle-cass neighbourhoods see that they are checking up and rush out to comply with the law.

Now, with my journalist's hat on, allow me to ask the city hall on what day and what time they are going to inspect certain other districts. I won't mention the areas that spring to mind by name so as not to stigmatise anyone; but at the local animal shelter everyone knows where the most serious cases of animal cruelty are happening. They know where secret dog fights are organised and, what's worse, they know in what state these dogs are in when they arrive at the shelter - those that survive, that is. I'll spare you the details.

It's also very well known in which districts, let's say rural areas, there are hunters with packs of 'podencos'. Many of them with no microchip and not neutered, producing litter after litter. And these puppies, in the best of cases, end up piled up in cardboard boxes at the gates of the shelter. I assume that all of these ought to have their DNA registered along with all the other requirements for dog ownership. The bylaw says nothing about it only applying to middle-class owners who live in nice neighbourhoods and walk their dogs three times a day. So let me know when it's time to visit the others - you can find me through my dog's DNA.