If You Don't Scoop Your Dog's Poop, DNA May Give You Away

Stepping in dog poop—unidentified piles of doggy excrement left behind by law-defying dog owners—used to be just a sad fact of life. Aside from catching the errant owner in the act, there wasn’t much you could do except scrape the poo off your shoe and try to get on with your life. 

But a company called PooPrints is changing all that.

The Knoxville, Tennessee company, a subsidiary of BioVet labs, matches DNA in dog droppings to the dog, as well as the owner who left the pile behind. All it takes is a swab from a dog’s cheek, as well as the animal’s poop sample. Both are then sent to the PooPrints laboratory and the information is entered into a database, which guarantees a precise, not to mention incriminating match when unclaimed dog poop is entered into evidence.

"The results won't come back as showing a beagle left the pile of waste,” said PooPrints spokesperson Eric Mayer, in an interview with USA Today. “It will be the beagle in Apartment 3A left the waste."

After a dog owner is identified, a fine can be imposed. Formerly dog poop-strewn areas generally report rates of compliance in the upper 90th percentile.

So far, the method has become popular in condos and apartment complexes around America, and was even being considered as a citywide measure by the Boulder, Colorado City Council. Now European cities, including Naples, Italy, and 15 locations in the UK, are looking into bringing the technology to their towns.


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