The Rotunda, a condominium in Tysons Corner, Virginia, is now requiring all new residents who are also dog owners to provide a DNA sample of their pets. Why? So if you fail to use your pooper scooper to clean up your dog’s mess, they can test the waste and hit you with the expenses. Here is what the condominium statement says:
Beginning May 1, when Rotonda staff finds excreta, inside or outside, a sample will be removed and sent to the DNA contractor for identification. Once positive identification of the responsible dog is made, the owner of that dog will be charged the then current DNA Identification Fee (currently $90), plus a $10 mark-up for processing, as well as the costs of cleaning up the excreta (typically $50-$500 depending on where the waste is left).
So what is the condominium calling this effort? According to their newsletter, it is called “Poo Prints”! The newsletter goes on to say that the policy is intended to deter resigents from leaving dog waste on the lawns surrounding the building, as well as keeping them from tracking waste back into the condominium.
Is this the start of something? It very well could be. Pet waste is not only unsightly, it can also be unsafe for both humans and pets.
- In 2010, Consumer Reports wrote that dog poop was the sixth most annoying thing in a poll of 1,125 Americans out of 31 possible gripes
- According to the EPA, “When pet waste is improperly dosposed of, it can be picked up by storm water runoff and washed into storm drains or nearby waterbodies.” They go on to say:
A “pooper-scooper” ordinance is an effective solution. Many communities have pooper-scooper laws that mandate pet waste cleanup. Some of these laws specifically require anyone who takes an animal off their property to carry a bag, shovel, or scoop. Any waste left by the animal must be collected immediately. Some of these laws also include fines that can offset some of the program costs.
On an average day, our dogs produce over 62 million pounds of waste. That is a lot no matter how you look at it! We all need to do our part to ensure that waste is properly disposed of. So pick it up and get rid of it the right way!
- Flush it down the toilet. Our sewage treatment systems can take care of dog waste in the same manner as human waste.
- Bury it. If you get rid of it this way, make sure there is at least 6 inches of dirt covering the waste, and it is far away from your garden or your water source.
- Toss it in a trash can. If you are doing this, make sure you have it in a plastic bag, and that the end of the bag is securely tied.
Together, we can make our yards a pleasure to look on, and free of unwanted pet waste. If not, you could be the next one to step in a pile of doggie doo doo!