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DNA tests are catching owners who don’t pick up their dog’s poo

Basenji puppy pooing © mountains.and.hound - Instagram

Some communities in the US are willing to spend money and time on tracking down owners that aren’t diligent when it comes to their pet’s toilet breaks…and we think it’s genius!

By Justine Seraphin, 4 May 2019

Jeanne Fisher, General Manager of an apartment building in Tennessee, was regularly struggling with the discovery of un-wanted brown treasures in the building’s little garden. Dog owners were welcome to use this yard as their dogs’ outdoor toilet area, as long as they were willing to pick up whatever the pups left behind. But many owners weren’t interested in going along with the chore.

Leaving poo prints everywhere

Jeanne decided to bring out the big guns and get DNA involved. First, all the dogs in the building were cheek-swabbed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by PooPrints (@pooprints) on

The collected DNA was sent to a lab managed by a company called PooPrints, which specialises in identifying who’s responsible for that dog poo you found under your shoe. All the information is then saved on their database, which already has about 300,000 registered on it.

All Jeanne has to do when there’s a problem poo around, is to collect a small sample from it and send it to PooPrints. The samples are then tested for traces of DNA. 

J Retinger, PooPrints CEO, told the BBC: “Every day, we get over 100 pieces of poop in the mail. Our mailman hates us.”

Once DNA has been found, the lab searches the database for a match, and sends Jeanne an e-mail.

DNA doesn’t lie

With a 1 in 250,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance of accusing an innocent dog, there’s no way guilty dog owners can get out of this one. Jeanne sends them an e-mail detailing the proof she has gathered, and warning them to be more careful next time they bring their dog to the residential park.

Within three months of trying out this new method, Jeanne proudly says “We have not had any repeat offenders at this time.”

While it sounds like a great plan, it’s not completely bullet-proof. Since it requires DNA samples of the dogs prior to poo collection, it can only work in closed communities, and is difficult to achieve in public places.

Nonetheless, we think this is a great idea to get owners to be more responsible!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by PooPrints (@pooprints) on