Whose dog poop is that?Science gives an answer.

November 27, 2013

The managers of a Massachusetts condo complex, tired of complaints from residents who have stepped in dog doo, are turning to science to identify pets whose owners don’t clean up after them.

DNA monitoring, a scientific way of matching the poop with the dog, has led to dramatic results in Devon Wood, a condo community in the town of Braintree.

“For a better part of a month [we] didn’t find any waste, which just floored us,” said Barbara Kansky, who manages the condos where the program started in July. Before that, condo staff had spotted several piles each week.

“We would call or send a letter and that dog owner would say: ‘Prove it,’ ” Kansky said.

Now, resident dogs have their cheeks swabbed to collect cells. When poop is found on lawns, a sample is sent to a lab. If a DNA match is found, the owner must pay $150. So far, one dog’s owner has been identified as an offender.

Kerry Weidner, a pet owner in Devon Wood, said the service, called PooPrints, has transformed the neighborhood.

“Now . . . you can walk where you want,” she said. “The grass is now ours again.”

— Associated Press

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