Doggie Dragnet

May 26th, 2010 by Kathy McManus

Using DNA to identify owners who don’t pick up after their pooches has some up in arms.

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The Responsibility Project

Responsibility has gone to the dogs at the upscale Scarlett Place condominiums in Baltimore, where “dog excrement has been found in the elevators, in the long carpeted hallways, (and) in the common areas,” reports the Baltimore Sun. No resident has owned up to not cleaning up.

“We pay all this money, and we’re walking around stepping in dog poop,” said Steve Frans, a condo board member who proposed hiring a laboratory to identify which of the dozen dogs in the building have owners who won’t stoop to scoop. Under the plan, every dog at Scarlett Place would be swabbed for a DNA sample. Owners would be billed $50 for the test, plus $10 per dog per month to cover the cost of sending found feces to the lab for identification. Residents whose pooches are a forensic match would be fined $500.

“This is something you’d see in some kind of tyrannical nation where you had no rights,” complained the owner of two pugs and a poodle. “Our dogs are like our children…would you want someone coming in swabbing your child’s mouth for DNA?” Another dog owner remarked, “I feel like I’m living in a ‘Seinfeld’ episode.”

“Some people think it’s funny,” said board member Franz. “But you know, this seems to be a reasonable, objective way to say, ‘This is your poop; you’re responsible.’”