Pooper Scooper PoochIrresponsible dog owners who refuse to clean up after their dogs are a bane to everyone, non-dog owners and other dog owners alike. I know that I never leave my home, when taking my pooches for a walk, without my trusty supply of bags and am always offended to come across ‘remains’ left by other dogs whose owners must feel themselves above the common courtesy of cleaning up.

Now BioPet Vet Lab, a Knoxville, Tennessee DNA laboratory, has announced PooPrints™.

The program is targeted initially to neighborhoods, but could be applied to any municipality that wants to clean up its public areas. The PooPrints™ program recommends that a home owner association (HOA) pass an amendment to its existing covenant that requires all dog owners in the community to have their dogs’ DNA analyzed and filed with Bio-Pet’s “DNA World Pet Registry.”

Once the DNA is on file, any dropping found in the public areas of the neighborhood can be sent to BioPet to be analyzed and matched up with the DNA already on file. Once the dog is identified, an email report is sent to the HOA, which then can identify the offending owner. The matching process takes three to four days after receipt to process. With positive proof through the DNA matchup, the association may elect to impose fines on the offenders, which will defray the cost of the program to the HOA.

A Program with Benefits
Participating dog owners gain several benefits in addition to the cleaner neighborhood they will have with the PooPrints™ program — their dog’s DNA is on permanent file, providing positive “proof of ownership”; they receive a lifetime membership in the “DNA World Pet Registry,” which allows them a place to store and manage their dog’s health and care records; they receive an ID Tag printed with “DNA Pet ID” and a toll free number that will help to reunite a lost dog with its owner.

The Poop Problem is Piling Up
There are 75 million dogs in the US and it is estimated that they produce 3.6 billion pounds of dog waste per year. That is equivalent to filling 800 football fields one foot high. What many do not realize is the health hazard dog waste presents. Campylobacter, salmonella, toxocaria, and other harmful microbes can all be found in dog waste. These germs can be picked up by children and adults causing diarrhea, fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, rash, cough, and even vision loss. Moreover, these germs make their way into the water supply, endangering natural fisheries and waterways, and providing a secondary exposure of humans to these health dangers.

The PooPrints™ program designed to do away with poop litter is not limited to home owners associations, but could be adopted by condominiums, apartments, cities, counties and states. The PooPrints™ program is low cost: to register each dog with its DNA on file is $29.95. Follow-on processing of waste samples is also just $49.95 per sample. BioPet provides complete program kits to the HOA which include waste sampling devices and containers for shipment. (Market Watch)

Ok, it’s interesting and I can see that it could work, but honestly, how many communities are actually going to make dog owners submit to having their dog’s DNA analyzed? Most communities can’t even get total compliance in getting dog owners to license their dogs. And who is going to foot the fees for this service?

So yeah, it’s a novel idea and has potential merit but as for the actual viability of it… well, I guess that remains to be seen. What do you think about it?

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