Apartment dwellers are familiar with security deposits.
Cat and dog owners in apartments are accustomed to pet deposits.
Now, get ready for the new stool test in town: the poop deposit.
Call it CSI: Leona Helmsley if you like, but everyone who has ever “stepped in it” because another pet owner wouldn’t pick up after his pet will welcome the latest use of DNA technology called PooPrints.
Here’s how it works, according to Mr. Jim Simpson, president of BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville, TN. They introduced PooPrints in 2011, and the program has already expanded halfway across the United States. Apartment complex and condominium management companies sign up for the program. Pet-owning residents submit a DNA sample for each pet (a cheek swab is used). Each pet’s DNA is unique, and the resulting profile is stored at BioPet.
If property managers find a pile of feces on the grounds, they simply submit a portion of it to the laboratory for analysis. If its DNA matches Mr. Jones’ mastiff in E6, Mr. Jones is notified and assessed a fine. Most complexes utilize a graduated scale for first, second and third offenses.
PooPrints is such a good deterrent that Simpson says, “Once the program is in place, we test very little feces.” In other words, just knowing that you might pay a fine is sufficient incentive to prevent even first offenses.
Jennifer Ulmer, property supervisor for JJS Property Management in St. Cloud, MN, says, “…we haven’t had a second offense.”
Now, if we could just find a way to utilize this for municipalities…!
See you Monday, Dr. Randolph.