Forsstrom: Dog poop patrol goes high-tech

DNA technology will pin the poop on the perpetrating pooch and lay down the law by fining the owner.

Many upset homeowners are howling that their stratas are going to the dogs. The controversy over dog poop has reached such a crescendo that high technology has been recruited to combat the problem.

The most messed upon condos are fighting back, armed with CSI esoteric science utilizing DNA technology to pin the poop on the perpetrating pooch and lay down the law by fining the owner. At $200 a pop, that’s pretty expensive poop and should be incentive enough to train owners to be responsible.

Not surprisingly this high tech trend was spawned in the U.S. and is creeping north across the border. Initiated at an upscale strata, the owners were fed up with having to constantly clean up after inconsiderate dog owners and turned to PooPrints, the forensic firm that can match offending feces to its rightful depositor.

Currently, frustrated owners have not had much help to deal with the problem.

While many dog owners are responsible and pick up their canine’s kaka, it doesn’t take many dogs to make a big mess for others to deal with.

Although bylaws can be used to deal with the offenders, it takes hard evidence such as an eye witness to actually catch the culprits. And even then fining them could be as messy as the problem itself.

PooPrints aims to solve this problem by providing indisputable DNA evidence to get a conviction. Although it doesn’t elaborate, the company has a system by which DNA samples can be collected and stored in a data bank. One strata reports that within six weeks of notifying owners that PooPrints was being employed, the problem with doggy waste had almost disappeared.

Anytime an owner spotted a pile they took a sample and sent it to the lab. “We can perform an exact DNA match up with the pets in our database,” company spokesman Eric Mayer told USA Today.

“The results won’t come back as showing a beagle left the pile of waste. It will be the beagle in Apartment 3A left the waste.”

Getting the DNA sample is $29.95 per dog, and each sample test is $49.95, Mayer said, and each client has their own policy governing how the costs are absorbed or passed along to residents.

While it isn’t clear yet if this will catch on in Canada, frustrated owners shouldn’t just fume.

Many stratas are now wired with multiple security cameras.

With little difficulty they can be aimed at high offending areas to catch the canines in the midst of their crime.

With video evidence in hand, stratas can send violation letters to owners and begin the process of bylaw enforcement and levying of fines.

If you are a self-managed strata, feel free to contact me to discuss this or any other column.

Kelowna Capital News