The problem of pet owners not cleaning up after their animals might make that a reality for one town in Colorado.
Laurie Best, a senior planner with the town of Breckenridge, CO, said earlier this month that using forensic testing for dogs and their feces isn’t a far-fetched idea to deal with the issue of people not cleaning up after their pets.
Best says it has worked in Aspen and Denver, where implementation of such programs has been credited with cutting the amount of dog feces left behind.
Does it work?
There’s a company, Pet Scoop, that offers PooPrints’ DNA-testing service for dogs. Sam Johnson, the president of Pet Scoop, says that the program is designed to work in controlled communities such as apartment complexes and HOAs but that once implemented it’s an effective tool for reducing the amount of uncollected poop in the areas effected.
The owner of the apartment complex would have a contract with Pet Scoop and would add a stipulation about animal DNA testing to their lease agreements. Each animal would have their cheek swabbed to create a DNA profile for them. The cost to have each dog tested is around $50.
Pet Scoop would then test the uncollected waste for a cost of $60-$80 and match it against their data base.
Johnson says a community can expect a 90-95 percent overall reduction in uncollected dog feces after the program’s been in place long enough for residents to become aware of it.
Germs from dog feces can pose a health hazard to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and could spread parasites like roundworm and hookworm. Officials from the Summit County Public Health Department told the Summit Daily that dog feces have even been linked to disease outbreaks in humans, although those incidents have been rare. However, department officials are not aware of any cases of human disease outbreaks in Summit County that originated from dog feces.
An apartment complex in Chicago, Luxe, has hired PooPrints to crack down on dog owners who fail to clean up after their furry friends. Residents will be fined $250 for the first offense and $350 for each subsequent offense. Luxe is following in the footsteps of complexes in Brooklyn, Providence and Tennessee.
As long as tax payer dollars aren’t being used in this doggy DNA search it’s fine with me. Another option would be to just pick up after your dogs.