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This Company DNA-Tests Unscooped Dog Poo to Track Down Offending Pet Owners

Unscooped dog poo is a problem in most urban communities around the world, but one company is offering an advanced scientific solution to crack down on offenders – testing the poo for DNA and comparing it against a database of registered community pets to track down their owners.

Lazy dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets are a bane on any community, but catching them in the act or finding proof that a certain person is to blame can be very difficult. Or at least it used to be until BioVet Laboratories launched their PooPrints service, which allows housing complexes to test unscooped poo and compare the results against a database of genetic material from dogs who live in that community. Offending owners are then tracked down and fined up to $250. BioVet Laboratories are currently working with over 3,000 housing complexes in the US, Canada and the UK.

Photo: MabelAmber/Pixabay

Housing complexes working with BioVet Laboratories ask any new pet owners looking to move in to first bring their dogs in for a cheek swab DNA sampling. The sample is then given a number and added to a database of registered pets. Whenever someone reports unscooped poo anywhere in the neighborhood, property management will use a PooPrints kit to pick up a sample and send it to BioVet Labs for testing. The results are then compared against the database of registered dogs and if the offending owner is a resident, they can be fined for hundreds of dollars.

PooPrints Business Development Director Eric Mayer told the Washington Post that first-time offenders ousted by DNA testing rarely re-offend, although they do have this one dog owner in South Carolina who got caught by the test no less than 18 times. He currently holds the record in that regard. Generally though, the PooPrints DNA test is so accurate that people tend to avoid the risk of getting caught.

Photo: PooPrints

The PooPrints service isn’t exactly new. In fact, it’s been around for nine years now, but it got off to a slow start, because a lot of people thought it was an invasion of the dog’s privacy. Some even came up with conspiracy theories. “We had one person who thought we would clone their dog, which is nearly impossible to do,” Eric Mayer said.

And in case you’re wondering who came up with the idea of using the same technology popularized in crime shows like CSI to identify dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets, it was a BioVet Laboratories scientist who had had enough of seeing dog poop around her housing complex.

 

“We literally had a scientist, she was living in a complex, saw poop everywhere and thought, ‘You know, there’s got to be a way we can figure out whose poop this is,’” BioVet CEO J Retinger told WSOCTV.  “So, today, across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., we’ve got over 3,000 properties using the program.”

Unscooped poo is one of the two “big ‘P’s” most property managers in the US tend to struggle with, the other being parking. BioVet Laboratories hopes to solve at least one of them.

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