Apartment complex demands dog DNA to track messy owners

Jan. 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM ET

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Poor puppy! Residents of an apartment complex in Plano, Texas are demanding DNA tests of all dogs to catch owners who don't clean up after them.

A Plano apartment complex is set to become the latest North Texas multifamily residential facility to demand DNA tests of all dogs living on the property in an effort to catch owners who fail to pick up their dogs' waste.

In a letter sent out Friday, the management at NorthSide at Legacy notified residents that the complex is instituting a program with PooPrints, a Tennessee-based company, to create a DNA database for all of the dogs on the property. For the original story, visit NBCDFW.com.

Residents will be required to bring their dogs to the leasing office by Feb. 16 to provide the DNA sample, which will be obtained through a mouth swab, according to the letter.

Once their dog is registered, any dog waste left on the property can be sent off to a lab to be matched to the dog. The fine for an offense will be $250, and if the fine is not paid, the tenant's rental agreement will be terminated, the letter indicated.

"The goal of the program is to help maintain a clean and sanitary environment for all of our residents," said David Marguiles, who represents Lincoln Properties, the company that owns and operates the NorthSide at Legacy apartments.

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At least one resident is in full support of the plan. Jacklynn Holloway runs Animal Addiction Concierge out of her apartment at NorthSide. Holloway takes care of several dogs throughout any given day while their owners are either at work or out of town.

"They don't pick up, OK. That is the constant issue," Holloway said about several dog owners at the property who don't clean up properly after their animal uses the bathroom.

Holloway told NBC 5 that she is pleased to know that the property management company is paying to perform the DNA tests and establish the database, a cost she estimates will easily be in the thousands of dollars.

Holloway also said she has heard rumblings from some dog owners at the complex who do not appreciate a test and a database like this being imposed on them.

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"The people who are really scared and I believe are really throwing that [concern] out there and being really aggressive that they don't want it are maybe the people that aren't picking up the poop," Holloway said Monday.

NorthSide at Legacy is not the first local apartment complex to institute a policy like this. The Ilume Cedar Springs in the Oak Lawn section of Dallas contracted with PooPrints last fall, with great success, according to management.

Since instituting the policy, residents have been much more diligent about cleaning up after their animals, and only 12-15 samples of feces have been sent off to the lab for identification, according to the property manager.

A representative from PooPrints, based in Knoxville, Tenn., told NBC 5 they have hundreds of clients in 33 states, and foreign countries like Canada, Singapore and Israel.

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