It's a nuisance: Stepping in dog "droppings", tracking around the smell, and having to wash off your shoes.
One apartment in Omaha is going to the next level to put an end to that scenario.
Southwest Gables near 90th and Q started using a tool called Pooprints this month. The apartment complex has about 20 "tailed tenants."
Pooprints has tenants collect their dog's DNA by taking a swab to the dog's cheek, just as DNA would be collected from a human. Property owners can collect a sample from a dog's feces if a mess is reported, and send it to the lab in Tennessee. The DNA from the feces would be matched up with the dog DNA, serving as evidence of which dog owner is leaving their pet mess behind.
"I've had to talk to the office a couple of times about people not picking up their stuff," said resident Chris Williamson. He is one of the good dog owners who clean up after his dogs. "We take them out at night sometimes and I'm out here with a flashlight on my phone making sure we pick up all their stuff."
Property Manager Kim McIntosh says the residents had 2 weeks to turn in their DNA swabs. The apartment covered the costs of collecting and sending in the samples.
"We don't want to go out there and step in someone else's dog mess and I don't want me dog to ingest that either because it's very unhealthy for them," said McIntosh.
McIntosh said they decided to try out the DNA test when one of their properties in Minnesota used it successfully. That property went from having several problems a week, to only a couple in the span of months.
"It just makes you responsible for your pet which you should already be doing," explained McIntosh.
McIntosh says she doesn't anticipate having to send in many tests as its main purpose is to serve as a deterrent to dog owners who know the program is in place.
The apartment does have several dog waste stations with waste bags for residents. McIntosh says they are also planning to put bags right by the apartment doors to use in the winter.
If someone's dog's stool is sent in a tested, the guilty owner will be told to pay the $50 it costs to do the test. They'll also have to pay the $25 fine at the apartment.
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