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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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.

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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.

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“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.”