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Dog DNA tests find owners who don't pick up poop

Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 29, 2018

No one likes to step in the "you-know-what" that dogs leave behind. Thanks to science, some Wisconsin apartment complexes are finding out exactly what dog, and what owner is responsible for those unattended piles. 

"It resolved issues immediately," said Ed Muisenga, the property manager at Prairie Grass Living in Pewaukee. 

He says they implemented the dog DNA policy from the beginning. It's built into their pet policy so when dogs move in, their cheeks are swabbed and their DNA stored in a registry through the company PooPrints Wisconsin.

Then if Muisenga finds any waste that hasn't been picked up, they can send it to a lab to be tested, and eventually matched to one of the resident's dogs. 

"A lot of people thought it was a cool idea, I do too," he said. "It was kind of something I thought was funny in the beginning but it made a lot of sense." 

Diane and Frank Busateri don't live in a complex with this policy but nearby. They said most dog owners in their community are responsible. 

"It's kind of weird," said Diane. "I think it's unnecessary if people are willing to cooperate with each other," added Frank. 

If the DNA test proves an owner didn't pick up their dog's poop, the Prairie Grass Living complex imposes a fee that's between $200 and $300. 

But for the most part, the policy leads to more accountability, according to Anna Schloesser, the owner of PooPrints Wisconsin. 

She says they have 60 properties in the state using this service and most property owners have reported very little issue with waste left behind. 

"You have 'he said she said' and you can't figure out who did it," she said. "This is just an easy way to pinpoint where it came from and solve the problem."

The company says some municipalities are even considering implementing a similar policy, so waste left behind in parks or other public places could also be tracked.