Ship management company

Canine DNA company surprises pet owners who don’t clean up dog poop

The proof is in the poo.

A Tennessee-based company that uses its extensive canine DNA registry to help catch unscrupulous dog owners has grown over the past decade to serve 80 rental communities in Connecticut, including about 15 in the south. -eastern Connecticut.

It’s called PooPrints and bills itself as the first and largest provider of a science-based canine waste management solution. The process works by taking genetic material from dog poop left in apartment complexes and comparing it to a genetic database to determine who didn’t pick up after their dog.

Skylar Tobey, who works for SRK Management at the Gateway Commons complex near Costco in East Lyme, said the townhouse and apartment complex entered into a contract with PooPrints before the company took over management in February. The first apartments went up under the previous owner in 2015.

“When the dogs come in, they’re taken for a bit of dog DNA and then we send it to the company,” she said.

There, the sample joins a pet DNA registry of more than 7,000 communities around the world. PooPrints business operations manager McKenzie Towns estimated that the lab is processing about 270 swabs per day.

This means that owners who don’t recover after their pets have nowhere to hide – not after management sends a nickel-sized sample of the evidence to the company for it is treated.

Tobey said the company verifies the DNA sample and sends back a report.

“And then we know what dog he’s from,” he said.

The lab processes an average of about 300 samples a day, according to Towns.

Using 16 genetic markers, the company reports that the odds are as high as 1 in 60 sextillion that more than one dog shares the same genetic profile.

Towns said people were still surprised to learn that the idea – with its futuristic overtones – has been around since 2008.

“When people look at our program, most of the time they might think it’s a bit Big Brothery or that we’re trying to attract people who own dogs, but the simple truth is that we love dogs,” he said. she declared.

Cities said the company’s goals are to promote responsible ownership, protect the environment and allow more dogs to live in more places.

The company charges Connecticut apartment communities $47 to add each animal to the registry, according to Towns. Fees for testing a sample range from $1 to $150 depending on service plan level.

“These owners/operators can leave pets on the property and they know there will be no destruction of their common areas and residents will not fight over getting into dog feces,” said Towns. “It just makes for a better community overall.”

The Gateway Commons Communities Lease states that each tenant must come to the rental office to collect their pet within 48 hours of moving in. There is a $200 fine for those who do not comply.

Tobey said they only had to use the service once to process an unrecovered poop sample. She credited the threat of a DNA match and the resulting fine with keeping dog owners on their best behavior. The penalty is $150 for the first offense and $250 the second time.

Dustin Gibbons – a regional manager for Merion Residential who oversees 10 apartment complexes in Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware – said the DNA dog waste detection service has been in place at The Ledges in Groton since before until his company acquired it in 2018.

He estimated that management should send fecal evidence for testing about four times a year.

“Usually the first time is just a warning,” he said. “It’s not really about the fine for us. This is to ensure that we have responsible pet owners.

At Harbor Heights in Mystic, management company Trio Properties has been a customer of the DNA waste testing company for over a year. According to staff member Tia McCloskey, the membership has enabled the community to get rid of stray piles of poo.

She said it was good to have the science available if the company needed to use it, but stressed that she hadn’t “needed to do that yet”.

At the Sound at Gateway Commons in East Lyme, resident Julia Peterson said she dabbed her dog, Macy, when they moved in. She then took it back to the staff members in a plastic bag.

She said she had reservations about the effectiveness of implementing the program when her fiancé walked into a pile of dog poo on her first day there.

But now she has classified the service as “a good deterrent” in general.

“It’s usually pretty clean, so something works,” she said.

She also pointed to the ready availability of dog waste bags in the complex and trash cans on every corner.

“For the most part, I can walk in the grass and not be afraid,” she said.

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