Dog Dung DNA Detecting Who Done It

When you take your dog for a walk and he has to take care of business, do you pick up the mess? An Omaha apartment complex is using dog DNA to catch dog owners who leave behind a mess.

The Southwest Gables apartments at 90th and Q in Omaha does allow pets in one of their buildings. They just ask pet owners to pick up what's left behind. And now with the help of a company called Poo Prints, catching an offender is as easy as sending a sample to the lab.

"We implemented the program a couple weeks ago and we've had nothing but positive feedback from our residents," says Kim McIntosh, property manager at Southwest Gables.

All resident pet owners have already brought their dog to the apartment office to have a DNA sample taken from a cheek swab, which is then kept of file. Then if a mess isn't cleaned up anywhere on the property, a sample is sent to the Poo Prints lab where a match can be made.

"We just want the residents to be responsible for their pets," says McIntosh. "And most of them do an excellent job picking up after their pets.

Each offense can cost a resident dog owner $85 plus the cost of cleanup.

Pet owner Kenly Sturdivant-Wilson doesn't live at the complex but thinks the DNA enforcement is a good idea.

"It's very unpleasant to have to scrape poop off your shoes when you get to work," says Sturdivant-Wilson. "And sometimes it's not a real good feeling or smell."

Sturdivant-Wilson makes sure he picks up after his two dogs, Franklin and Earl.

"I just think it's our responsibility," he said. "And if you don't do it there should be some consequences."

So far no dog owners at the apartment complex have been caught using the new program. Southwest Gables is the first complex in Nebraska to use the Poo Prints service.

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