Property managers across the nation are turning to a CSI strategy to battle dog poo. There’re using DNA technology to match which canine is responsible for leaving the piles so their owners can face fines.
Just the idea of using the technology people are used to seeing on the Crime Scene Investigation TV shows was enough to get residents at Legends at Taylor Lakes, a Montgomery apartment community, to clean up their act.
“We sent out letters to residents about what we were going to,” said property manager Joe Johnson. Legends has been using the service for about six weeks. “The problem of owners not cleaning up after their dogs just disappeared.”
PooPrints, a division of BioVet Pet Lab, developed a process in which DNA samples can be collected from dogs. The samples then can be used to determine which dogs are leaving waste behind. The company based in Knoxville, Tennesse, markets the service to property management companies, apartment complexes, condos and homeowners association. The company now has clients in 28 states, Israel and Singapore, said Eric Mayer, director of business development. Mayer said PooPrints is the only company currently providing this service and it is working on getting a patent.
Clients collect samples of waste and send them to the PooPrint lab. “The results won’t come back as showing a beagle left the pile of waste,” Mayer said. “It will be the beagle in Apartment 3A left the waste.”
Kendall Wahlert, a resident of Legends, likes the idea. She was recently walking Bro, her miniature Australian shepherd and had a plastic bag tied to the handle of her retractable leash to clean up any mess he left behind. “I’m for anything that would mean fewer piles,” she said.
The service works, said Michele Mann, regional property manager at United Residential Properties in Macon, Ga. The company manages residential properties in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. A test at a Knoxville complex started six months ago. The others came on board about two months ago, she said.
“We have seen our waste problems almost disappear. We fine residents $150 if they don’t clean up after their dogs,” she said.
Getting the DNA sample is $29.95 per dog, and each sample test is $49.95, Mayer said, each client, has its own policy governing fines.
Reprinted from USA TODAY, published in on June 12, 2012, by Marty Roney.