DNA Tests to Match Dog Poop to Catch Owners at New Jersey Condo Complex

Dog owners who don't scoop their pups' poop would face fines as high as $1,000

A northern New Jersey condominium complex is planning to test dog poop for DNA and match it to residents' pups to catch owners who don't pick up after their pets. 

The Grand at Riverdale has told residents their dogs' mouths will be swabbed for DNA and any droppings found on the property will be tested in order to fine the owners. The first offense will cost $250 and subsequent fines will rise as high as $1,000.

Residents were notified in a letter that a "small percentage of residents who have not been doing their due diligence."

Dog owners could be fined $100 if they don't bring their dogs to be swabbed by Nov. 1. The cost of the DNA sampling is being covered by registration fees owners already paid.

The condo complex of eight four-story buildings will use the Tennessee-based DNA-matching service PooPrints to track down offenders.

Dog owner Jeff O'Connell supported the plan, saying abandoned dog feces has been an increasing problem in the complex.

"I've been here for four years, and this wouldn't be an issue if this wasn't happening," he said. 

Dory Badaan, who does not have a dog, said "it's been quite a problem. You have to keep your eye on the ground." 

But Bill Mirrer worries that the crackdown could go too far.

"Scraping a piece of grass that you couldn't get it off of, or your dog being sick and not being able to get everything up at night or something like that.  That's what I'm a little bit concerned about," he said. 

The condo management company declined to comment Monday. 

Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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