Katherine - posted on 07/04/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )
Plagued with pets that do business in all the wrong places, dog owners in the Village of Abacoa, a condominium association of 458 units, must pay a $200 fee starting Aug. 1. The money will pay DNA Pet World Registry to take the dog's genetic fingerprint and keep the information on file.
Doggie droppings found in condo common areas will be collected and mailed in a plastic tube to the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company. If the poop matches the pooch, the owners can be fined up to $1,000. If they don't pay, a lien can be placed on their home, said Susan Nellen, property manager for Versa Property Management, which manages the condo near Roger Dean Stadium.
Not everyone supports the policy.
"This is nuts. They will be testing all kinds of poop. Is this America?" said Troy Holloway, who owns one of the condos.
But managers say they have no choice. Dogs are defecating and urinating in elevators, in stairwells, on carpets and in the lobby, as well as common areas outside. The condo association is spending $10,000 to $12,000 a year replacing and cleaning, said Matthew Brickman, president of the Village of Abacoa Condominium Association.
"The smell is disgusting. Residents are embarrassed to have company. Dog crap is everywhere," Nellen said.
The process works like this:
Beginning Aug. 1 and until Aug. 31, a dog owner must pay a $200 one-time fee for a swab to be taken from their dog's mouth. DNA Pet World Registry uses the swab to determine the dog's DNA sample. The dog is issued a identification tag to wear on its collar. Owners who pay after Aug. 31 will be charged $500.
A maintenance person from Versa Management will collect marble-sized samples found in restricted areas. The samples go in a leakproof plastic container about the size of a small perfume bottle containing DNA stabilization solution. The container is mailed to DNA Pet World, where the identification test is done.
If the illegal poop matches a registered dog, the owner can be fined. If the problem persists, the animal can be confiscated, Brickman said.
"It's not the dog's fault. Many are trapped inside all day while their owners work. That's why I don't have a dog," said Brickman, who lives in the condo.
He figures about 40 percent of residents own dogs.
The usual charge for signing up and testing a dog is about $90. That includes the swab, the container and the DNA matchup, said Eric Mayer, director of franchise development for PooPrints, a Knoxville-based company that works with DNA World Pet Registry.
The $200 to $500 per pet owner will defray cleanup costs and pay for doggie bags distributed free in the condo, Brickman said.
Feces identification is a booming business. DNA Pet World and PooPrints - its motto is "Match the Mess through DNA" - are spinoffs from BioPet Vet Labs. They started in October. By the end of the year, they expect 300 American franchises, Mayer said.
The process only works for feces. There is not enough DNA in urine to make a match, Mayer said.
Despite the high cost, the penalty might not prevent the problem, Holloway said.
And the expense will be a hit on residents on a tight budget. Holloway's tenant owns a teacup breed dog that weighs about 2 pounds.
"That's $250 a pound. That's an expensive dog," Holloway said.
Oh WOW! I can certainly see the reasoning behind this, but a lien on your house???? Come on! They're already getting fined up the butt, literally. I do have to say it's disgusting when people don't pick up their own dog crap. It's not that hard to do.
Just pick it up people!!!