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.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 10 things you need to know today: March 7, 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
Subscribe to the Week