DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — There’s something to bark about at a Dublin apartment complex where a dog DNA program gets pet owners to pick up the poop — or face a hefty fine.
It’s a high-tech solution to that unpleasant squish: a company that DNA matches a dog’s waste to a saliva mouth swab on file, according to Laura Davidson, a property manager with Oakland Management Company.
“It was a constant battle,” Davidson, whose company manages about 55 properties, said. “Every day, you’d come in and a lot of residents expected it to be cleaned up by management staff.”
That’s especially tough, she said, when 25% to 30% of renters want to include a dog in their home.
“We found at the brand-new sites and the beautiful communities we’d have all this dog waste lying around,” Davidson said at The Charles on Riggins Run. “With the diseases that they carry and all that, we wanted to figure out a system. That’s when we found out about this program.”
Enter PooPrints, a lab that analyzes dog DNA through pet poop.
“When it passes through the dog, it picks up all the cells, so when it comes out, we take the end of it and send that away,” Davidson said.
Arguments about who left what in the grass evaporated.
“It’s impossible for it to be a wrong DNA match,” Davidson said.
At The Charles’ dog park, there’s not a nugget in sight.
“People love to go in there,” Davidson said. “They’re not going to go in there if it’s gross, if it’s dirty. They feel confident going in there knowing their dog’s not going to get sick, they’re not going to mess around in it.”
That’s because owners are highly incentivized to clean up, as the DNA testing comes with a caveat.
“It’s in all of our lease paperwork, so everybody is well-aware of this program and knows it upfront. It is a $300 fine per occurrence,” Davidson said.
For non-pet owners, they don’t have to risk walking through the grass and ruining their shoes.
But the real payoff comes in the spring.
“In the winter, no one wants to clean up. It’s cold, they want to get back inside with the snow. In the spring, everything melts down and then you find it everywhere. It’s awful,” Davidson said.
But — like the winter snow — that problem has melted away.
“No one is going to risk leaving their dog waste out to risk that $300 fine,” she said.