Dog Owners Refusing DNA Tests to Control Poop Are Bad Neighbors


dog poop
dog poop
I love dogs but I hate their poop. My sister does dog rescue and always has 4-5 wonderful big dogs in her house at any given time, and I have a mildly traumatic memory of an afternoon in her backyard with her then-toddler and three pooper-scoopers, getting the yard spring-ready after a particularly cold winter.
Other dog owners are not so great. Which is why a condo in Florida has taken a particularly strict measure: Everyone with a dog has to pony up $200 and submit their dog’s DNA. They’re going to DNA test any poop they find, from now on.
It’s not such a crazy policy, but this episode of CSI: Dog Doo might open up a can of giardia (that’s a kind of worms). And the dog owners have quite a lot to say on the subject, as you might imagine...

But first, let me tell my grossest not-cleaned-up-dog-poop story: I keep a double stroller in the back of my car, and was taking my toddler and newborn to a class at a rec center one morning. I took out the stroller, unfolded it, loaded it with babies, and promptly rolled it right through a pile of brown poop. I almost horked. It was so fresh, so smelly, so … near my babies, and so hard to clean up! “Thank you so much, dog owners of the Castro,” I Tweeted. “I get the message and am going home.”
So, you know, if I were paying to live in a pleasant condo, and I found that the condo association was paying $10,000 to $12,000 a year to clean up dog poop, I would gladly pay $200 to eliminate the problem.

So far, the condo association hasn't reported any huge uprisings, but it seems the local community in Tampa is in disagreement over whether this is a good policy or not. "I would not give up my dog's DNA," said one commenter on a Tampa news site. "That way, you can test all you want, and my dog is in the clear." Sounds like an admission of guilt, doesn't it? Other commenters accuse condo associations like this of alternately being "communists," "fascists," and "Nazis," which at least proves that they don't know what any of those words mean.

"Look," says one, who seems reasonable until you see that his screen-name is Howitzer Breath," "you should clean up after your dog, but this is over-invasive. What next, they'll DNA test your kids in case one of them leaves a Lego around?" Uh... not unless the Lego is made of genetic material, but you knew that.

On the other hand, non-dog-owners have a different view, as you might imagine. "YOU wanted a dog, so YOU clean up after it," says one. "If you can afford to own and feed a dog, you can afford to have it tested," says another. "I live in this village, and it's disgusting!" says a third. "I'd hate to see these condo owners' apartments on the inside -- you disgusting, barn-raised imbeciles!" So basically, dog owners are up at arms (and paws) at the idea of this terrible invasion of privacy, and crap-steppers are all for a rule that pinpoints exactly whose pups are pooping.

But would this rule fix things?

  • What if the poop didn’t come up with a match? How do you know someone outside the condo isn’t walking dogs there?
  • What if the poop isn’t from a dog? Do you really want to know you live near a phantom pooper?
  • What do you do about the fact that someone who is willing to collect and test dog poop is given free reign to roam your grounds? I’m picturing a Caddyshack-era Bill Murray crossed with the moth expert from Silence of the Lambs.

Mostly, though, I have to ask: What is wrong with people, that they can’t just pick up the poop like everyone in New York and San Francisco does? (Oh, well, apparently not everyone – I snapped the picture accompanying this article a block from my house.) I’d say this condo association might do better by distributing compostable pet-poop bags and cute pooper scooper. A cheaper solution, probably just as likely to work, and empowers everyone rather than taking a finger-wagging approach. Or they could just use it to power their lamps.
Now, that’s an idea with legs! That’s an idea that’ll go fur! That solution will sit and stay! Oh, never mind.
Would you let a condo association DNA-test your dog?

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butte... butterflyfreak

We don't have a dog, or any other pets, as our building doesn't allow pets. Before we would have a dog though, I would need to get my daughter over her aversion to dog poop. LOL she starts choking and gagging anytime she sees dog poop so I would not be able to make her responsible for walking the dog until she could get over that. Then, of course, she's not quite 4 so she wouldn't be able to walk anything but the smallest dogs and then of course with supervision.

Kayla Still

in the town where i live, dogs are not allowed in the park becuase no one picks up the poop when they walk their dog, i agree that if you have a dog you should pick up the poop and in a little trash bag and despose of it properly.... the citizens of the town next to mine do!!! what is the price of carrying around little plastic bags?! wouldnt it be more inexpensive that way??

LKRachel LKRachel

I have a dog and am a proud poop picker-upper!  We're (sadly) one of the only people in our neighborhood who actually does it and *most* of our neighbors appreciate it.  I would definitely submit to this and hope others would do the same.  I actually have more of a problem with cat poop in our yard b/c it's much harder to find and for women (or pregnant women I should say) more dangerous if you happen to find it while gardening etc.

Jenny... JennyG0929

I live in this area where this is taking place. Poop bags and receptacles are already provided. The problem is this area is very busy (near a baseball stadium and downtown area that welcomes pets) and there are people walking their dogs from adjoining areas.

Mishelle Vargas

I, personally, do not see a problem with this. IF you pick up your dog poo, LIKE YOU SHOULD, then what's the problem? However, I'm lucky enough to have a nice big yard for their poo, and lucky for me, they eat the kind of high-priced dog food that turns their poo to ash in 24hrs, so I don't have to worry about this. If someone steps in it, then it's THEIR problem, because this is MY property and MY dogs can pee and poo wherever they like on THEIR property. I can see how this could be a problem in an apt complex, but I am a considerate person and to avoid any problems with any animal, I PICK UP THEIR POO WHEN WE ARE IN PUBLIC!!! I'm not about to leave their heaping pile of poo for some idiot to step in and then blame all the other dogs in the area. It's simple, USE COMMON SENSE, even though it is CLEAR it is NOT as COMMON as it needs to be.

Rose Savoie

I was playing at the park with my daughter last summer when she comes walking up to me with fresh dog poop all over her foot, (and of course she was running barefoot through the park)  so I found some napkins in my purse to wipe it off as best I could and sent her off to play again, only to notice the back of her dress was also covered in dog poop.  I was not very happy that day.

Regardless, I think DNA testing for dog poop seems a little over the top.


livn4... livn4hevn

I'm not sure that paying someone to work full or even PART time testing dog poo in the area is saving them any money. Equipment, manpower, time and energy.... I thought these were the kinds of reasons why we have an HOA of volunteers who are vigilant enough to call out their neighbors when they see a problem and fine them....?? I paid $50 for my rescue pup.... $200 is a lot of money to do something that YOU think is neccessary and I don't.

I'm assuming that they will test the poo, and then compare it to a database that tells them who's dog it is and....????? then what? Fine them? Ask them to stop? Throw some plastic bags on their porch?? Not picking up poo is gross, but it's not a crime. There's not much they can really DO about it... even if they CAN pinpoint the problem.

mleil... mleilanim

Id rather pay someone. People need work right? Picking up poop is absolutely disgusting & I refuse to do it. Not to mention, small dogs (like our jack russel) you can't even see their crap. Its the big dogs that cause a problem for everyone else.

mleil... mleilanim

I guess I should add our dog is an inside dog & poos in our yard, not someone elses or the park. Kinda makes a difference, I guess.

mount... mountainmom303

Sharon Osbourne suggested they get a video surveillance system in stead


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