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Something Stinks! Apartment Complexes Using DNA to Identify Dog Poop

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

If you’re one of those annoying people who walks a dog and doesn’t clean up after him, your days of anonymity may soon be over.

Some apartment complexes are going high-tech, using DNA testing on those doggie droppings to determine their origin and shine a spotlight of shame on the humans who let it happen.

Lebanon, New Hampshire apartment manager Debbie Violette says, “We’ve tried doing the warning letters. We’ve tried all sorts of things. It’s always a problem. It’s just that the majority of people are responsible pet owners and there are a few who are not.”

She turned to commercial DNA sampling kits as a last resort, and her 30 dog-owning residents are required to submit samples to be put on file.

The kits are from a Knoxville, Tennessee firm called PooPrints, a subsidiary of BioPet Vet Lab. The president of the lab, Jim Simpson, said about 20 US properties so far have signed on.

Here’s how it works: PooPrints provides a feces collection kit containing a solution into which a small sample is mixed and sent back to the lab. DNA is then extracted and cross-referenced against existing profiles for a match.

Violette says she’ll probably levy a fine against irresponsible dog owners, and language about the DNA testing will be included in future lease addendums.

It may not be a full-fledged CSI, but it’ll at least help keep your shoes clean.


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