Texas Apartment to Track Dog Poop Offenders Using DNA

Careless Lone Star state dog owners, you're on notice: Your pooch's little front lawn "accident" could come back to haunt you if you don't clean it up.

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Michael Pieracci / Getty Images

Careless Lone Star state dog owners, you’re on notice: Your pooch’s little front lawn “accident” could come back to haunt you if you don’t clean it up.

That’s what’s in store for residents of an apartment complex in Plano, Texas, anyway, where a local CBS affiliate reports stray dog poop is enough of a problem that the management company is deploying high-tech DNA tracking to keep “poo-prints” of its canine residents.

(MORE: New Zealand Economist: Abolish Pet Cats to Save Birds)

Tracing Fido’s droppings with cutting-edge science isn’t new, but the technology seems to be catching on: In 2011, an apartment complex in Nashua, New Hampshire used DNA tracking to nail a negligent pet owner, and a downtown condo unit in Orlando, Florida said it planned to do the same just a few weeks ago.

The common element: A company called PooPrints, which specializes in testing canine feces. The company offers DNA kits that include an oral swab, which owners then submit to a global pet registry. The company sells a corresponding test kit that’s used to gather errant fecal matter, which PooPrints then checks against its registry using parent company BioPet Vet Lab, a biotechnology outfit located in Knoxville, Tenn.

In Plano, it works like this: The apartment complex requires that dog-owning residents bring their pets in to be swabbed, free of charge, by Feb. 16, after which they’re liable to be fined $250 if their dog’s leavings show up in a test.

(WATCH: Cat Travels 200 Miles to Return to Owners and Baffle Scientists)

“They’re just giving them a grace period of a month or maybe a week to come in and bring your pet to basically have it swabbed,” PooPrints owner Cedric Moses told CBSDFW. “What we’ve seen is, when you start hitting people in their pocket they start paying attention, they start understanding, ‘Hey, this is an environmental issue’.”

Sound a little too invasive? It’s probably worth considering the problem this solves for residents with children, whose kids could well be out and playing near — or with — one of Fido’s “presents.”

37 comments
1neekehurley
1neekehurley

Some people like to keep their lawn clean and free of poop funk and turds. And actually enjoy the outside. Not good if there's dog poop smell wafting in the air.

cmum7320
cmum7320

I've got a better idea.  Why don't they start taking fingerprints off discarded bottles and cans.  That's something that really bugs me and there are a lot more of those laying around!  I especially like the plastic bottles filled with chewed tobacco in them .... Niiiicccceee!  BTW, I pick up my dog's poop! :-)

WillNott
WillNott like.author.displayName 1 Like

Please tell me what complex it is so that I can go poop there. I am turtle heading so the sooner the better.

AustinRockland
AustinRockland like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I just farted.  Can the smelly molecules be captured from the air for DNA testing?

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

They dont shoot dogs in Texas do they?

AustinRockland
AustinRockland

I took a crap on the sidewalk last time I was in Plano.  There were no witnesses, but I guess I still need to worry about.

merlinflex
merlinflex

Uhm, what about all the other poop on the ground left by rodents, cats, birds, possums, bats, etc, etc.  How is that any healthier?  How do you track that?  Guess what..you can't.  Idiots who think that it is only dogs leaving poo on the ground.

NathanBerg
NathanBerg

is this really the best use of our resources?  wow, i wish that was the biggest of my problems.  (not news)

JohnForsthoffer
JohnForsthoffer like.author.displayName 1 Like

What would make sense is if pet owners paid a fee every month and the landlord hires someone to walk around picking up poop all day along with doing other landscaping type things. See, creating jobs is pretty simple. 

LucyRicardo
LucyRicardo

Oh, geez . . . don't we all have something more important to be concerned about here . . . .

BenHenderson
BenHenderson

sooooo if you knowingly did this why woud you submit your dog to the registry. I know its Texas but they're not THAT stupid. Also the little plastic bags are terrible for the enviroment whilst dog poop is good for it. Get off your yankee high horse and deal with alittle poop as long as im not letting him poop on your door matt i dont see the problem

munkittrick1123
munkittrick1123 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It's official. We can let Mexico have Texas back. Texas is officially worthless...

jaxgrim
jaxgrim like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I'll throw them off my dog's trail by taking a poo on their lawn myself.

VincentWolf
VincentWolf like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm all for this.  About time these poop heads pay up the nose for their arrogant and unhealthy practice of leaving their dogs poop everywhere.

StephanieMauser
StephanieMauser

we lived in a gated community in TX that allowed dogs. there was poo everywhere there too. the problem i see with this: ppl who don't claim a dog when moving in. we had a person bring a pit bull, a restricted breed that wasn't allowed on the property, after they moved in. just waited for the management ppl to be gone for the day and brought it home. they ended up getting the boot only after the dog bit a child. so, if you have a situation like that, and they test the poo and find no match to residents, what then? the poo issue, and unleashed dogs, and that factor that ppl are clandestinely bringing dogs that management doesn't know are on the property is what made me find a no dogs allowed place.

BrianPlano
BrianPlano like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

I live at these apartments, Northside at Legacy in Plano, TX. My recommendation is to put that money into something that will benefit its residents more, like sound proofing the walls so I won't hear my neighbor snoring EVERY night all night! Crappy apartments!

BenHenderson
BenHenderson

@BrianPlano YES! I live in crappy apartments in Myrtle Beach, SC and they are exactly the same way i really dont mind side stepping poop every now and then but the snoring and people pacing back and forth all night is terrible

cmum7320
cmum7320

I have an idea!  They could employ someone specifically to pick up the poo!  Give someone a job!

DrDrey
DrDrey like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It may sound gross, but this is also a good way to get back at the neighbor you don't like.  If they aren't careful about throwing away the poo, get the bag, plant it at the steps of the manager's office, and watch your neighbor get a bill for $250!

MikeMiller2
MikeMiller2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

...and people pick up the poop and pit it in a PLASTIC bag, where it will remain for centuries because the farkin' BAG is NOT BIODEGRADABLE! Which is worse...poop or plastic?

PRajaram
PRajaram like.author.displayName 1 Like

@MikeMiller2 The city or the county doesn't store the poop bags, as is, in some place.  They are mushed and mashed with other degradable waste and probably used as fertilizer :)

TeresaDaulton
TeresaDaulton

OMG!  Its poop!!!  So what happens when they trace the origins??  More unnecessary lawsuits tying up the judicial system??  Great!!  That's just what we need!  Don't build a dog walk area or forbid renters from owning dogs to begin with!  I hope they have a fence all the way around to keep out stray dogs.  What a bunch of shit!  No pun intended :/


arnadelecour
arnadelecour

Why not cat poop as well. We have a lot of outdoor cats in our neighborhood and it's absolutely disgusting to get a handful of it when you are working in your flower garden. Our upstairs neighbor resorted to moth balls and pepper spray since Feli-away wasn't working. But I see far more cat feces than dog when I am out walking with my children.

draspy1
draspy1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

No money for rape kits/DNA testing but OK for dog poop? REALLY?

PRajaram
PRajaram

@draspy1 city/county doesn't pay for this.  It is the community which is paid for by the rent/HOA dues.

dmbfan93933
dmbfan93933

Why don't they just install security cameras?  Knowing your dog pooped on camera should get the owners to clean up after their pet, and they might deter other types of misbehavior as well.

PRajaram
PRajaram

@dmbfan93933 true, but a camera will capture images of people too and that, in turn, raises privacy issues.  Then, there is the issue of the maintenance of the camera, recording, backup apparatuses, plus someone has to take the trouble to view through the recordings which is much more labor intensive.

DNA testing, on the other hand, once you have a baseline, it is very easy to compare and identify.  Time doesn't become much of an issue.  The baseline is easier to obtain if it is in an apartment complex or gated community of some sort where it could be part of the lease agreement.

JohnForsthoffer
JohnForsthoffer

Notice how they didn't mention us cats. Stoopid dogs. Meow.