Poopetrators Beware: Dog Poop DNA Testing on the Rise
I know none of our readers would dream about leaving their dog's poop unscooped, but as the bottom of many a beleaguered shoe can tell you, it happens far too frequently.
But now, with the help of science, those who don't scoop may be easier to nab. A growing number of apartment complexes around the US are requiring their residents to submit DNA samples of their dogs, according to a CNN report. The sample can be used to check against the genetic fingerprint of unscooped poop, leaving it easier to point a finger at the person who failed to scoop.
News articles in the last week have featured condo and apartment complexes in New Hampshire and Florida that have been besieged by errant piles of dog poop. At the condos in Jupiter, Fla., for instance, at least a few dogs have been pooping pretty much everywhere, and their owners aren't doing anything about it. From the elevators to the lobby to the common areas outdoors, the place is apparently a landmine of excrement. The Palm Beach Post reports that the Village of Abacoa Condominium Association spends up to $12,000 yearly on replacing carpeting and cleaning up the yuk.
"The smell is disgusting. Residents are embarrassed to have company. Dog crap is everywhere," property manager Susan Nellen told the newspaper.
Figuring that most of it probably comes from residents' dogs, the property's managers have decided to work with a company called PooPrints on getting cheek swabs from dogs and comparing marble-sized bits of orphaned poop to the samples on file. It's not a cheap process, but the costs in cases like this are usually passed on to the residents. Guilty poopetrators can get big fines, and may be threatened with eviction or dog confiscation if they don't pay the fine.
Many residents seem OK with this, although some do balk at the Big Brother aspect, saying it's way over the top.
Dogsters, what's your bottom line? Do you think this is an idea whose time has come, or just another example of privacy rights crashing and burning? If your landlord or property manager (or neighbor?) wanted to swab your dog's cheek to see if you're a scofflaw in the future, what would you do?