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Animal welfare city councilor Jürgen Czernohorszky with three members of the dog team

The city of Vienna has sent out new emergency services since Monday: a dog team is now ensuring compliance with laws surrounding the popular pets - from leash requirements to dog taxes.

The “dog police” – not to be confused with police dogs – are intended to prevent conflicts between dog owners and non-dog owners by informing owners about their duties and ensuring that rules are followed.

These include, among other things, the requirement to wear a leash and muzzle, removing feces and unlawful stays in dog-prohibited zones such as playgrounds.

The “Paw Patrol”, as the Viennese already call the team, also educates about species-appropriate dog ownership and is allowed to check whether a dog is chipped and registered or, in the case of listed dogs, whether a dog license is available.

Minor fines can be imposed in the event of violations; in more serious cases, a report can also be filed.

The city says that in the first few weeks the focus will initially be on education.

“The advice stands can be found, for example, at dog parks or in parks,” says city councilor for animal protection Jürgen Czernohorszky.

“Good, conflict-free coexistence can only work if everyone adheres to the basic rules of the game in the city.”

The approximately 20 employees have either completed an apprenticeship in animal care or are veterinarians.

According to the city of Vienna, there are almost 57,000 registered dogs there.