Having a dog at an apartment complex can be tricky. Many dog parents neglect to pick up after their pups, and the wrong owners sometimes get blamed. Most apartments even offer dog poop bag stations, so there’s no excuse to leave pet waste behind. One apartment complex in St. Louis, Missouri, found a creative way to crack down on the poop problem.
At the Galley 1014 Luxury Apartments, management can use your dog’s DNA to find out if you left poop behind. That way, the complex can stay clean and pet-friendly without blaming the wrong residents. Many pet parents are baffled by how this process works.
Holding Owners Accountable
Whenever new tenants move in, Mike Kueker, the complex’s district manager, asks for a cheek swab from every dog. Then, that DNA sample is sent to a Tennessee company called PooPrints.
If someone finds dog poop that’s not picked up on the property, a sample can be sent to PooPrints to determine who’s responsible. Kueker offers bags and pooper scoopers to residents, so he says there’s no excuse for them to leave their dog’s waste behind.
“We had a scientist that was actually living in an apartment complex that was riddled with dog poo,” said PooPrints CEO J Retinger. “She thought to herself, ‘Can we figure out who’s not picking up after their pet?’ From there, our PooPrints program was born.”
Kueker said punishments at his apartment complex operate on a three-strike policy. First-time offenders will receive a fine, but repeat offenders could risk losing pet privileges at the complex. Having PooPrints makes it much easier to find the culprits, which keeps the community clean.
The Future of Apartment Living
PooPrints was born in 2009, but it has greatly increased in popularity in recent years. Now, the company has about 6,000 customers around the world, including apartment complexes, dog parks, and campgrounds. Every day, they received hundreds of dog poop samples for testing.
“Having PooPrints really helped with that because we weren’t having to go through video footage to try to find somebody or just giving up on it and just doing it ourselves,” said Kueker.
Picking up poop isn’t just about keeping spaces clean, but it also keeps residents healthy. PooPrints’ website states that the millions of bacteria in dog poop can be harmful to people and animals. It can also contaminate nearby water systems.
So, if you’re planning to move to a new apartment soon, you might be asked for a dog DNA sample. But even without this advanced technology, it’s important to pick up your dog’s poop anyway. Neglecting to do so could cause more places to stop being dog-friendly, which isn’t fair to our furry friends.