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Whose poo? Raleigh complex using DNA to ID offending pooches

Posted January 7, 2015
Updated January 8, 2015

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— A north Raleigh apartment complex is turning to technology to solve its problem with dog waste.

NorthCity6 Apartments, off Six Forks and Lynn roads, describes itself as a pet-friendly community, but property managers say residents draw the line at having poop all over the property. Although bins to dispose of waste are located throughout the complex and posted signs remind residents to pick up after their pooches, managers say they still get plenty of complaints about residents who don't.

"Some people really just don't clean up after their dogs, and we step in poo, and it's not fair for us," resident Antoinette Taylor said Wednesday.

So, managers are turning to forensic science, implementing a policy that requires every pet owner to stop by the complex's office to have their dog's cheek swabbed to collect DNA.

After a clean sweep of the property, a company called PawzLife will regularly collect any waste found lying around and test it against the DNA database.

Once the offender is identified, the owner will be fined and could have his or her pet privileges revoked.

The new policy has tongues wagging.

"I think technology is interfering with our daily lives, even owning a pet," dog owner Elizabeth Rangel said. "Oh well, I can either do it or find somewhere else to live."

"On the surface, maybe it sounds a little militant," dog owner Hank Edney said, adding that he understands the reasoning behind it.

"Either you don’t have an animal and you don’t want to deal with it, or you have an animal and do the right thing, so then you don’t want to deal with it probably even more," Edney said.

"It seems like an invasion of privacy to require that, but I'm OK with it," Taylor said. "I'm responsible, and I think everybody else should be responsible, and if they're not, then they should pay for it."

"You take expensive steps for the sake of doggie doo," resident Amy Harrington said.

NorthCity6 is picking up the cost of the DNA database and any testing done by PawzLife, property managers said, noting that they will stop paying for another contractor to come in several times a month to clean up dog waste. Any fines paid also will help defray the cost of the testing service.

Managers say that some other apartment complexes owned by the same company have also turned to doggie DNA, and the threat of fines has scared pet owners straight.


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  • MyNameIsMud Jan 8, 2015

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    The dog poo cleanup services for our townhouse community was over $1200 a year and that money could have been used elsewhere. A few lab tests to identify the offenders will probably cost less and will go down when pet owners get the message. It makes sense in the long term.

  • Kenny Dunn Jan 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Perhaps they should get DNA for the people as well. You never can tell what some folks may be doing when you're not watching.

  • Marciana Paul Jan 8, 2015
    user avatar

    This is so stupid..the money they are going to spend on testing is going to be way more then they would spend cleaning up the pooh..smh better bet would be to put up camera and throw out/fine those who don't clean up ...duh

  • Jump1 Jan 8, 2015

    What a waste of money and time,

  • Lisa Menendez Jan 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Should be applied in Cary where people allow their lazy dogs to use the sidewalk. Also you should be made to pickup in the grass sometime meeting others or bikes people step into the grass.

  • NC Reader Jan 8, 2015

    All these comments and no one has noted that the British "poo" is now in common usage here!

  • Recalcitrant Jan 8, 2015

    I could not agree less about the home vs. renter mentality in regards to relative responsibility, especially in this context. The first time I read about DNA being used to nab lazy dog owners was in conjunction with a communinty of condo OWNERS in FL. I think the real truth lies more the law of larger numbers, someone is more likely to feel they can get away with being lazy with their pet's waste if the ability to place proper blame is mitigated by numerous neighbors/dog owners.....i.e. apartments, condos, townhomes....notice how only one of those three examples involves renting?

  • ericsgrowing Jan 8, 2015

    Dogs are toys in most peoples eyes. They want to just take pictures of them, give them toys and spoil them like a little kid. Then they forget that they have to actually take care of the thing.

  • johnnymanziel Jan 8, 2015

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    I would rather be dead than go back to apartment living.

  • PowderedToastMan Jan 8, 2015

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    Nonsense to assume someone who doesn't own a home is not responsible