DNA comes full circle

I remember when DNA tests first became routine in crime scene investigations. It was groundbreaking. Murders decades old being solved, sinister crimes committed by evildoing masterminds brought to justice by the tiniest speck of blood. Those sure were the days.

Now, we use DNA to bust people for not cleaning up after their dogs. How far we have come.

Sherlock Bones is on the case.

I wonder at this, though. I am guessing most people neglect to clean up after their dogs out of sheer laziness and the notion that they probably won’t get caught. If you have to submit a dog swab when you move in, knowing the CSI team is after you if you don’t clean up after your dog, you wouldn’t be dumb enough to just let the dog go out there anyway, would you? Or maybe that is the point.

Based on their one testimonial, I’m guessing the deterrent is the main benefit. I looked at the PooPrints website- yes, that really exists- and while there are no costs listed, it does say that apartment managers have a database of all the pets on the property, so they create a “genetic profile” of every pet based on a cheek swab. I have no idea how exacting their science is, or how they build such a database in a cost effective way, or what happens if cousin Joey’s off the database visiting bulldog is the offender. I guess they are… out of luck.

It doesn’t hurt anyone to do this, though, and I’m all for property managers doing this as an effective enticement for good behavior instead of just refusing to allow pets in the complex. Weren’t we just talking yesterday about getting more creative about ways to deal with people exhibiting offensive behaviors directly as opposed to penalizing an entire group?

So with that in mind, I say, bring on the cheek swabs! Maybe my HOA can get one to figure out what blasted dog owner is allowing his pet to foul my front lawn every morning. Better yet, just let me have my own two dogs profiled, so I can prowl around the house like a crime scene investigator every time a bag of CET chews gets broken into or a shoe homicide takes place. That would be awesome.

What say you? What do you think of pet DNA tests?

Filed: Daily Life Tagged:
  • Hi Y’all,

    I do have mixed feelings about someone takin’ my DNA…medical or law enforcement, okay. If I had a landlord taking it, sort of feels like privacy invasion.

    On the other hand, if it opened up apartments and vacation rentals so more humans could keep or adopt dogs, it’s a GREAT thing!

    My question is: how good and reliable is their DNA analysis? How mistake free is their data base? Is someone going to put my DNA in as belonging to another pooch? Who maintains the data base? Who runs the tests? Who enters the data?

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  • Lisa W

    I agree with the concerns about the reliability and safety of the data. I’m actually thinking about getting a DNA test for Sophie just to find out what the heck kind of mix she is! As a responsible pet parent, on one hand I wouldn’t have a problem with this, because I know they’d never find my kids’ DNA on someone’s lawn! On the other hand, it does feel a little bit creepy…

    • Leigh

      I would say forget about the breed DNA test… maybe it’s gotten better, but two years ago we tested the Dr.’s dog at our clinic. He looks like Toto from Wizard of Oz, but gray, and is a bit longer and low to the ground (dachshund looking) than a full blooded Cairn terrier. He is a mutt from the streets of Mexico.
      The DNA breed analysis said he was of undetermined breed, but the breeds that were discernable were Dalmation, Chow, and Shar Pei. Then two other tests the girls at work did on their own pets came up undetermined. So we don’t recommend the DNA tests much. lol.

      • wikith

        I’ve had good results with the ones I’ve run. Had one lad pissed that her breeder ripped her off because so many people were saying her yorkie-poo did not look like either a yorkie or a poodle… came back yorkiepoo indeed. My sister’s dog has been a topic of hot debate since she came home 9 years ago – definitely beagle (the voice!), but is she part pit, collie, foxhound, what?! Turns out she’s beagle-collie-GSD-unknown. I’ve run about 6 or 7 through my hospital and only one can back as undetermined. I was not surprised, as the whole reason she wanted the test is I looked at her dog and shrugged when asked what he might be.

        I will say anything that comes back as “trace” has seemed highly suspicious, so anything that comes back as undetermined and then only has the trace bits is HUGE grain-o-salt territory. So I hesitate recommending it for “street dogs of X foreign country” where I suspect there is not likely any purebred for the last 4 generations. I had this discussion just the other day with a “street dog from Vietnam” owner.

  • i’m cool with this, but i have to ask: why go to the trouble of a database, maintaining that and also having to um, swab the evidence? why not just use a camera? afterall, poop CAN come from your dog if another is walking it (and it’s not you)… i say this after having just received a speeding ticket here in switzerland–by mail–from a camera… efficiency is crime prevention!

  • Debbie

    If it allows more choices where people can live with their pets, and gets everyone to clean up after them, it’s a win-win situation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I wish we could use it in our neighborhood. We have several offenders, and we never seem to catch them in the act! I would love to be able to ticket them.

  • Dana

    Sherlock Bones?? Ha ha. Love it! (That’s as profound as I can be morning. lol)

  • Abby’s mom

    I wish that my apartment complex would do this. It would be so much more effective than the blanket reminders to people to pick up after their pets. I’m pretty sure those that listen to the reminders are unlikely to be the ones involved. As far as who pays, I heard a segment on NPR about this a few months ago and the landlord they interviewed fines the offending dog owners, which I believe covered most of the costs. There may have also been a fee when you get your dog swabbed. I can’t remember for sure.

  • marah

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD FASIONED WAY of just dealing with it ? either scoop it aside yourself, confront the person if you can, if youo cant jsut be glad that the dog has a home and is hopefully loved because too many poop mobs may end up with that not being the case…….. also what happened to ‘some days you step in it, some days you dont’ because thats part of life……. why do we always have to go overboard anymore and loose our decency? we donthave to be doormats but my gosh…… this is overdoing it.
    dont we have better things to worry about anymore? ill take dog poop on my lawn on on my shoe anyday over dogs in shelters or abandoned. this is jsut too intrusive and doesnt foster neighborlyness……. in you , not the person that is not considerate. but not everyone should pay the price. i vote this down.