Careless Dog Owners Could Be in Mess of Trouble

A Tennessee company will register London dogs’ DNA to identify owners who fail to clean up after their pets.

The PooPrints test kit includes swabs and a pet registration tag.

Dogs can run, but they can’t hide from PooPrints.

BioPet Vet Lab, which specializes in canine genetic testing, is partnering with the appropriately named London borough of Barking and Dagenham to track down dog owners who fail to remove their pets’ public deposits.

Starting in September 2016, people who don’t pick up after their dogs could be fined 80 pounds, or about $125. The registration of dogs’ DNA could become mandatory five months earlier if a pilot program proves successful.

That’s where BioPet and its U.K. licensee, Streetkleen Bio, come in.

Canine cheek swabs will be taken and sent to BioPet’s Knoxville, Tenn., laboratory for identification and registration of the dogs. When Barking and Dagenham party poopers come across a pile of dog doo, a sample will be shipped to BioPet in an attempt to identify the canine offender.

“Wardens will patrol the borough’s 27 parks and open spaces and test any rogue mess,” the BBC news agency reportedly bluntly.

Borough leaders decided to enforce a Public Space Protection Order, a quality-of-life measure that allows governments across the United Kingdom to crack down on anti-social behavior in public areas such as parks, cemeteries and beaches.

The effort in Barking and Dagenham will start with the pilot program to demonstrate PooPrints’ success in parks. The project then may be rolled out across the 14-square-mile municipality.

“We are the first council in the country to get really tough on dog mess and pet owners who do not act in a socially responsible way,” Councilor Darren Rodwell said. “The vast majority of dog owners in Barking and Dagenham are socially responsible, but unfortunately a selfish few think it’s OK to not clean up after their pet.

“Dog mess not only spoils our streets, it’s also a health hazard, and especially to young children.”

The swabbing and DNA registration will cost about $45 per dog. The fee is expected to be split during the pilot program between the dog owner, the borough and Streetkleen, said Eric Mayer, director of business development at BioPet.

BioPet has PooPrints relationships with more than 1,000 property management companies and communities in 45 states and Canada. One of the larger customers is in central Indiana, where the Carmel Clay parks and recreation department has agreed to work with BioPet to keep dog parks clean.

Forty percent of the 21 billion pounds of dog waste generated annually in the United States is left where it lies, according to BioPet.

“Our aim with PooPrints is to make every city cleaner and greener, one poop pile at a time,” Mayer said.

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