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Associated Press, Published May 23 2012

Dog DNA business cracks down on errant droppings

ST. PAUL – A DNA registry for animals is keeping apartment and condo complexes in Minnesota free of errant dog droppings.

“It’s kind of like the ‘CSI’ of dog ownership,” said Patti Trongard, marketing director of the company that manages a 180-unit apartment complex in Roseville.

Rosedale Estates North is just one complex that uses PooPrints, a division of BioPets Vet Lab in Knoxville, Tenn. Apartment complexes everywhere deal with the same disgusting problem – dog feces in public areas where it doesn’t belong, according to BioPets owner Jim Simpson. His solution is to track down dogs the way detectives track down criminals.

Rosedale Estates recently eased its policy on pets and opened 50 units to dog owners. Soon, evidence of the dog owners’ failure to pick up after their pets was discovered not only on outside public areas but inside, in hallways, stairs and landings.

Property manager Cheryl Gallo explained the PooPrints program to tenants in April.

“Initially they laughed and said ‘You’re going to do what?’ ” Gallo recalled.

When a property manager discovers dog droppings in the wrong place, a sample is sent to the PooPrint lab for DNA analysis. The result is matched with the company registry of pooches whose DNA was gathered earlier and the scofflaw is identified. A first offense fine at Rosedale is $100. The second offense is $100 plus an order to get rid of the pet.

The company charges $30 for registering a DNA sample and $50 for testing.