DNA Could Solve Doggie-Doo Caper

Baltimore condo may use DNA tests to identify guilty pooch

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 10:34 AM EDT
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A swanky Baltimore condominium is considering using technology -- usually reserved for cold case murders and revealing paternity -- in a case of whodunit.

The culprit is furry, friendly and likely has no idea he's done anything wrong. The crime? Pooping all over the Scarlett Place condominiums.

All dogs in the building would be swabbed for DNA testing, under a proposal by the condo board, according to The Baltimore Sun. Dog owners would pay $50 per pup, covering the costs of tests and supplies, and an additional $10 per month for the cost of having building staff scoop the poop.

The staff would then send the samples to a Tennessee-based company called BioPet Vet Lab (wouldn't you love to be the mail carrier at Scarlett Place?).

Using all the dog swabs, BioPet would create a doggie database of sorts for the complex. It would compare all those samples to the mysterious doggie-doo. When BioPet identifies the guilty pooch, the owner would pay a $500 fine.

"We pay all this money, and we're walking around stepping in dog poop," resident Steven Frans told The Sun. "We bring guests over and this is what they're greeted by."

Frans is the board member who proposed the plan, calling it a reasonable and objective way to find the culprit.

"I feel like I'm living in a 'Seinfeld' episode," said Richard Hopp, who has lived in Scarlett Place for four years with his pal Sparky.

It may sound like this condo is going to the extreme, but according to BioPet, 40 percent of dog owners don't pick up after their furry friends. With 75 million dogs in the U.S., that adds up to 15 million un-scooped poops (if your dog goes just once a day).

So far the plan is not written in stone, but the Scarlett Place condo board is expected to make a decision later this week.

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