Animal Welfare

Company Wants Dallas to DNA-Test Dog Poop. Angela Hunt, For One, Is For It

Every day, the dogs of Dallas leave behind an astounding amount of shit. The city mailed out a water-quality PSA over the summer that included a rough figure, which was somewhere in the range of several hundred thousand pounds per day if memory serves. Some of that is picked up and thrown in the garbage by responsible pet owners, per city ordinance, but the rest just sits there, waiting for sprinklers or a good rain to flush it into the Trinity.

In other words, dog crap poses a serious but little-discussed challenge to water quality.

Enter Poo Prints, a Tennessee-based company that markets a DNA-tracking system that traces rogue poops to the dog -- and therefore owner -- who failed to clean up after themselves. The company pitched the system yesterday to the Dallas City Council as a way to enforce its existing rules requiring residents to clean up after their pets, per a report from NBC 5.

How such a program would be implemented citywide is unclear, given that it would require most or all pet owners to have their dog's DNA added to the Poo Print registry, is unclear, though no doubt it would require the purchase of a lot of Poo Print testing kits, which retail for $29.95.

Councilwoman Angela Hunt at least was on board.

"I think that's a great idea," she said, according to NBC 5. "I think we do need enforcement, especially in some of our denser areas where you have a lot of folks living with dogs. ... If they're not picking up, it creates a problem."

The Advocate's Jeff Siegal immediately labeled the proposal a "scam," pointing out that the City Council has more pressing concerns.

His outrage may be a bit premature. It seems unlikely, given the cost and logistical challenges, the idea will take off.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson

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