DNA nails owners who don't clean up after pets

Wed Jul 6, 2011 7:16pm EDT
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By Zach Howard

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters Life!) - Some U.S. pet owners who failed to clean up after their dogs got a nasty surprise from apartment complex manager Deb Logan.

Using DNA evidence, Logan started fining the irresponsible dog owners $100 per offense.

Logan, property manager at Twin Ponds in Nashua, New Hampshire, started using a dog DNA-testing system to reveal which pooches were leaving feces scattered about outside.

Logan says the DNA technology called "PooPrints", developed by BioPet Vet Labs of Knoxville, Tennessee, is working "amazingly" well for Twin Ponds, a 339-unit complex that is home to about 241 dogs.

"And for a property manager to not have to guess who the violator is, is absolutely wonderful," she told Reuters in a phone interview.

Dog-friendly Twin Ponds is BioPet's largest client using PooPrints to solve the mystery of who left the offending mound.

Using doggie DNA to solve the puzzle which dog left the feces is becoming increasingly popular in apartment complexes nationwide from Jupiter, Florida to Rockville Center, New York, where violators are fine up to $1,000 per steaming pile.

At Twin Ponds, all tenants with a dog now must use a PooPrints pet DNA sampling kit when they move in. To set up a profile, owners come to Logan's office, swab their dogs' cheeks for a saliva sample, and Twin Ponds then sends that to BioPet, which creates a reference database that includes all the community's canines.   Continued...