Whose poo? Raleigh complex using DNA to ID offending pooches
Posted January 7, 2015
Updated January 8, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.