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Only in America: DNA testing to prove which neighbor's dog pooped
Faced with dog owners who refuse to pick up after their pets, several apartment complexes are using a CSI-like test to unmask the culprit
Neighbors fed up with illicit dog poop on their lawns are turning to DNA testing to find out which pet owner failed to scoop.
Neighbors fed up with illicit dog poop on their lawns are turning to DNA testing to find out which pet owner failed to scoop.
CC BY: mslavick
T

he story: Dog owners who don't pick up their pet's poop are a nuisance, but the problem in some apartment complexes is so bad that the management has started treating it like a crime, CSI-style. The 252-unit Timberwood Commons in Lebanon, N.H., is the latest of about 20 properties nationwide to start using PooPrint, a commercially available DNA kit, to match on-file samples of residents' dogs to piles of errant poop. Violators will be punished with a fine. "It's one of the coolest things I've ever done as a property manager," says PooPrint customer Debbie Logan, who manages the Twin Ponds Development in Nashua, N.H.

The reaction: Negligent dog owners who don't scoop are "a huge and massively annoying problem," says Liza Eckert at Death + Taxes. "But registering dog DNA is excessive." It treats all dog owners (and dogs) like criminals, and I can immediately think of several better solutions, like using the testing money for a fenced-in doggie run with bags, or security cameras. And this isn't just "a humorous local story," says Larry Olmsted at Forbes. Taken to its logical conclusion, we're looking at a billion-dollar national dog-DNA registry, and a new branch of law to deal with offending dog-poop scofflaws. If that sounds crazy, consider that Germany is mulling such a doggy-doo DNA database.

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