DNA tests at apartment complexes result in poop fines

By Bianca Buono



A program aiming to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets is now making its way to apartment complexes across the country including here in Rhode Island.

Property managers are now taking DNA samples of each dog in the building.

"Most people have never heard about anything like it. Most people are fairly interested,” said Walter Pastor, senior property manager at The 903.

At the 903 apartment complex in Providence, you won’t find any unscooped dog waste thanks to a program called PooPrints. It was developed to track down lazy dog owners.

"We take a sample using a cotton swab that they’re provided. They rub it between the dog’s cheek and gum and that is sent out to a company called BioPet labs,” Pastor said.

And just like that, the dog’s DNA is stored. So when management does come across dog poop, they send it to the lab and are able to identify the culprit who then faces a fine.

"Knowing it’s there helps deter anybody that might be lazy from going oh, you know what I’m going to pick that up,” said Pastor.

The 903 tells me in the three years they’ve been doing the program, they have sent in around ten samples per year.

Due to their success, their sister property in North Providence, the Residences at Brentwood, have recently announced that they are joining the program as well.

But not all dog owners in the area are on board.

"It should be picked up. But sometimes I am guilty of leaving it too if I don’t have a bag on me,” one dog owner in Providence said.

"I think it’s nothing short of insanity to do DNA testing,” said another dog owner.

Management tells ABC6 each sample costs $30 to process and around 30 percent of their tenants are pet owners. They say the cost is minor compared to the effect it has on the cleanliness of the complex.

© WLNE-TV 2016