So. Fla. apartment complex resorts to DNA testing
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Hollywood apartment complex is dealing with a messy situation by going high-tech.
Pet owners were not cleaning up after their dogs, so managers turned to doggie DNA testing to catch the offending pooches.
Property managers at a Hollywood complex were fighting a losing battle to get residents to clean up after their dogs.
They tried signs, video cameras, even hired off duty policemen, but nothing worked. "Nobody picks up," said property manager Tiffany Acosta. "We provide them with the bags, we provide them some place to drop it, and they just don't. It doesn't matter, they just don't pick up."
Some residents complained about the smell. "You could literally walk through the dog area and just, from yards away, you could smell the feces," said Joleen McKenzie.
They decided to go high-tech and enlisted a Tennessee company called Biopet Vet Lab. The company employs the same DNA testing used in criminal cases.
Sample swabs were taken from the cheek of every dog in the complex. "If somebody doesn't pick up after their dog, we can extract the DNA from that feces," said PooPrints Senior Scientist, Ashley Bledsoe, "compare it to the database and be able to tell the apartment complex who the offender was."
Biopet identifies 16 DNA markers from each dog, creating a database beyond mathematical doubt. "The chance that another dog would match is 1 in 500 million," said Bledsoe.
Previous attempts at denial, will fade in the face of cold science. Owners who are caught, will be fined $150. "There's still some people who just don't get that we can catch them now," said Acosta. "You know, we don't have to have a picture to prove it. We have this, it's a no brainier. They say it's Fido, it's Fido. Now we can identify who it is. We bust them all the time. It's awesome."
Now dog walks are cleaner. "There's a huge difference," said McKenzie. "There's really not much feces in the dog area now, and the great thing is, if there is, the person is being held responsible for it."
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