Are you sick of people leaving their dogs’ messes on your neighborhood lawns, planters and sidewalks? Even though dog owners are subject to fines, most aren’t afraid of getting in trouble because it’s difficult to tell one dog’s waste from another.
But that might be changing.
A company called BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville, Tennessee is now providing PooPrints testing kits to apartments, condo complexes and homeowners associations across the country, mainly in large cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas. Business for BioPet has been picking up, so to speak, over the past five years with more than 26 locations being served in Seattle alone.
Here’s how it works: In order to live in certain areas, pet owners must register their dog with BioPet by submitting a one-time swab from their dog’s cheek. The resident and dog then have a profile created, and if the neglected waste in the community matches the DNA from the swab, the owner is fined. That amount is determined by the residence owner, but it can add up.
“One person was fined five times in one week,” says Erin Atkinson, property manager at Potala Village Apartments in Everett. “That’s over $500. Now people clean up after their dogs.”
Atkinson says that before the DNA testing began, “there was poop inside the elevators, in the carpeted hallways, up on the roof.” Now, however, things are looking a lot cleaner — and from Hawaii to Italy, local residents are using similar services.
This isn’t just about keeping lawns clean, because the service can also benefit the dog owners. BioPet offers free lost-and-found service and free online storage space for the dog’s medical history and photos as well.
For more info on BioPet, including registration costs, visit their website.