July 05, 2011

World-wide database of dog poop

How far do property managers go to ensure that their tenants pick up after their dogs? The New York Times describes a new method:
Canine DNA is now being used to identify the culprits who fail to clean up after their pets, an offense that Deborah Violette, for one, is committed to eradicating at the apartment complex she manages. Everyone who owns a dog in her complex Timberwood Commons in Lebanon, N.H., must submit a sample of its DNA, taken by rubbing a cotton swab around inside the animal’s mouth. The swab is sent to BioPet Vet Lab, a Knoxville, Tenn., company that enters it into a worldwide database. If Ms. Violette finds an unscooped pile, she can take a sample, mail it to Knoxville and use a DNA match to identify the offending owner.
The swabbing kit costs about $40 and each test is about $50. Results are entered into a worldwide database of dog offenders.

Worth the effort?
Karen Harvey of Forest Property Management in McCall, Idaho, said her company was not prepared to collect canine samples along with the rent checks. “If you allow pets, that sort of comes with it,” Ms. Harvey said. “I guess I would never take the issue of dog poop that far.”