They give a bad name to everyone that walks their dog in public areas; the lazy dog owners that don’t clean up after their pet. Until now the only way to catch one of these culprits was to witness them committing the act, but now one company wants DNA testing to be used against these non-scooping criminals.
Homeowners associations and apartment building managers around the country are now asking residents to register their dogs in a DNA testing program that will link their dog to any feces they may leave behind. Residents of these homes are not able to have dogs unless they agree to enter them into the database.
The Knoxville, Tennessee based company BioPet Vet Lab says that it’s “PooPrints” DNA testing kits are being used in more than 1,000 neighborhoods, apartment buildings, and dog parks in the United States. Large metropolitan areas are the most common places where PooPrints are being used right now including Miami, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, and Dallas.
Eric Mayer, the Business Development Director at PooPrints, said that the company has found that pet owners leaving their dog’s waste behind is a common problem all over the country and many property management businesses are struggling with how to deal with the issue.
Not only is dog waste a disgusting problem for the people in charge of cleaning it up, it can also be a health hazard. The waste can get into local drinking water systems by leeching through soil and washing down storm drains.
A recent study in Seattle estimated that about 125,000 dogs excrete around 41,250 pounds of feces onto sidewalks, yards, and in public parks every day. Aside from the fact that it is aesthetically unpleasing to other users of these public places, the study found that the waste was one of the highest sources of contamination to local waterways.
When a tenant moves in to a building or community that utilizes the PooPrints technology, a simple mouth swab is performed on their dog. Then the dog receives a registration number and their unique DNA signature is added to the DNA World Pet Registry.
If wayward poo is spotted, property managers simply send part of the sample to the lab and scientists match it to the offender and report back. It can take up to 14 days to receive a report, and most buildings will charge the perpetrator a direct fine.
So far, the company’s statistics show that first –time offenders rarely commit the act again. In most instances, the apartment buildings, dog parks, and neighborhoods that use PooPrints technology have seen a drastic decrease in the amount of un-scooped poop on their property.