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

Thumbnail image for DogCleaningPoop.jpg
Via.
Someone teach my dog to do this, like right now.
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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19 comments
jonpentium4
jonpentium4

Also what is to stop some one from trying to contaminate the sample at the source? I have done DNA sampling before to check for hereditary diseases etc and I’m pretty sure if you line the dogs gums with pork fat or lard just before the test, the sample swab taken at the mouth will be contaminated. Not to mention, if I lived in a complex like this I would invite people over who don’t live in the building to have thier dog poop on the premises. Heck I might even bring in some “outside poop” to prove a point. But I’m sure the overall frustration of failure would drive the HOA to come with an additional draconian policy to compensate.

jonpentium4
jonpentium4

I still don’t understand how this works. I have had dogs for decades and sometimes they get loose stools. You can have a bag etc, but you won’t be able to get it all. Will the designated “poop tester” swab whatever is left over and pass on the fine? What about bits that hang onto the grass etc? Do you need to walk around with a garden sprayer and poop bags to keep from being labeled guilty? Also how many companies are offering this DNA service? I can only find one and they are owned by BioPet Vet lab. From what I know of them they do a lot of genetic type R&D for livestock animals. They also have a big DNA registry. So are the people who are forced to use the PooPrints DNA service essentially giving away free genetic data for BioPet Vet Lab to profit from? Its one thing to protect the building from irresponsible owners who don’t pick up thier dogs poop, its a whole different thing to turn over valuable data for free to someone else can potentially profit from it. I wonder if their is any legal recourse to prevent an HOA or building owner from forcing people to turn over their pets DNA to the corporation BioPet Vet lab?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

This is stupid.  A moron with a working nose can make this determination.  Only in places of extreme concentration would this be an issue.  What on Earth did the Native Americans do to cope with bufflao poo poo, or the feces on the wild animals back then?  What about these tribes who'd poo poo, and urinate in concentrations? 

 

Let's use our brains, look at the dog parks, and other places with heavy concentrations of dogs.  Perhaps we need to pick up poop in those places.  Done.  Send a fucking directive to the PARKS dept to address this, see what they'd need to address this in those parks where great concentrations of poop are an issue.  I would like to know if this demand is cyclical, exclusive to weekends or not and exactly the demand and what it would take to staff this.  Can they divert present resources or do they need additional.  Then the council needs to fund that or do what's needed. 

 

This is bureaucratic bloat.  Why not address the issue immediately, and then we can consider if testing is needed.  But, let's ask parks to address it and get back to them.  This is so plodding. 

ryan762
ryan762

How come it costs $1,000 to do DNA testing of a rape kit and only $30 to test doggie DNA?

mel-mel5
mel-mel5

This is complete bullshit!  (Make that dog shit...)  We are backing ourselves into a corner with rules and regulations, fining ourselves to death.  For what?

ttttttttttt
ttttttttttt

I will tell on two people in my building willingly. 

 

and both have dogs bigger than me. compensating by compost. 

Paul Grubbs
Paul Grubbs

The Poop Police! What a bunch of shit!

Thomas Combs
Thomas Combs

Lets deal with the roads being shit before we waste money on this crazy shit!

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

in this case i think good old fashioned witness testimony would suffice and save alot of tax dollars.

angelahunt
angelahunt

Let me clarify my quote that made it sound like I enthusiastically support a taxpayer-funded CSI lab devoted to analyzing canine excrement.

 

Would something like this be a useful tool for enforcement?  Absolutely.  Is it practical in Dallas? Not at all.

 

First, not all dogs in Dallas are registered, so I would venture to guess that most of the tests would be a "waste" of time.  Heh.  This process works great in apartment complexes and other closed communities because the landlord can trace each dog to its owner.  Not practical or effective in a city like Dallas.

 

Second, and Jeff is correct, we have more pressing issues to deal with at our city, and not enough code enforcement officers (not to mention Animal Control personnel) to deal with them. 

 

Third, the guy speaking on behalf of the poop analysis company actually claimed that the city could reap anywhere from $40m - $100m in revenue as a result.  That is so ridiculous I had to laugh at him. No, sir, that is not realistic.

 

I respectfully asked him to provide us with more information and show us how this has worked in other cities.  I am open to being proved wrong on this, and I don't think the concept is bad.  I just don't think it could work for Dallas, I don't think it's a burning priority, and I don't see how we have the personnel or funding to enforce it.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I'm on board for this as long as the perpetrators are billed for the full cost and the offending droppings are transported to the living room floor and bed pillows of said offenders.

Let them walk through it and smell it.

 

The Katy Trail is a walk at your own risk minefield with all the fucking assholes that let their dogs shit in the middle of the paved trail, can't even take them off to the side in the dirt, but have to make sure it inconveniences and many people as possible.

 

in other news, I did see the radar speed monitors that have gone up on the Katy, to try to influence bikers to slow down, maybe? I am looking forward to see my speed clocking in at maybe 3 or 4 mph as I walk, head down, trying to avert the  minefield.

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

"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."

 

Angela needs to take a trip outside her whiteopia and ask herself what good this proposal would do while she is surrounded by packs of feral dogs(no pun intended)

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

Yeah, let's waste more money on stupid ........shit.

downtownworker
downtownworker

It should be a pilot program for downtown, where most people are renters. Make the apartment community require each dog's DNA prior to move-in. The city and the property owners can work out a deal for reimbursing the cost of the test kits after fines are collected. 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

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___________

 

Feel free to fill in the the blank for what really  needs  enforcement in your area rather than DOG SHIT..

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @angelahunt Why not simply ask parks to consider the question, and ask them what they need to do to address the situation?  I would think there are few places where one household is a big issue.  We're limited by how many pet we can have aren't we?  So, I would think commercial establishments would be the other most likely concern, beyond our dog parks and a few urban parks.  Ask code compliance to take a look at potential concerns, to get out of the car and use their nose.  Once an offensive situation is detected, I would think they could use these or other tests to determine in a factual and quantifiable way the offense.  If nothing else, this could always be outsourced as part of the case against said property. 

 

I appreciate your comments, is bureaucracy necessarily this mundane, this plodding?  Can't/shouldn't this be addressed below your level?

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