Hawaii housing complexes turning to DNA to catch irresponsible dog owners
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Fed up with irresponsible dog owners not picking up after their pets Hawaii housing complexes are getting high tech and turning to DNA testing to find the violators.
The Waiau Garden Villas is the newest complex to turn to Poo Prints. It's a company that is part pet detective, part environmental watchdog.
A poop business is picking up steam in Hawaii. It's called Poo Prints. Number 1, it requires a DNA sample from your dog.
"Get a little cheek swab like that. And then that's the DNA sample that we send off to Bio Pet Vet Lab," said Bob Sharp, Poo Prints Hawaii.
Number two, you wait for nature to take its course and spot any uncollected deposits on the complex grounds.
"We scrape the outside and get a little bit of the fecal matter, we put it in a sample container kit. We mail this to Bio Pet Vet Lab. Within about five business days they'll tell us that that poop pile belongs to the dog in number 56. Then our house rules are enforced," said Sharp.
The pet's owner is hit with a fine by the complex association starting at $100. It's higher for additional offenses.
The Moorings in Hawaii Kai was the first to pass it about five years ago and within the last six months five more complexes are giving it a go.
"I think it's terrific. I think it will force people to be more responsible of their dogs," said Kathleen Mahr, dog owner.
It's about $35 per dog for the initial startup cost. Sometimes the association pays for it. Other times the dog owners do.
Waiau Garden Villa is the most recent to implement it.
"I just think that's something private. you don't go around asking people for your DNA. I know it's an animal but still yet people consider their animals as a family member," said Keala Baker, Waiau Garden Villa resident and dog owner.
Dog owners at Waiau Garden have to get the DNA test otherwise they face a fine or must move the dog out.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Baker.
"It is certainly is in every community associations best interest to prevent pet waste," said Sharp.
The Moorings in Hawaii Kai says poop was a big problem. They would find several piles a week. Now there are fewer than four incidents a year.
Poo Prints is also working on expanding to cats as well.