An apartment complex’s warning to residents that they will soon be DNA testing dogs to find culprits of the “small minority” refusing to pick up their pet’s feces has gone viral online.
Tenant Kallie, whose username is kallieslayed, shared the letter she received in a video on social media, claiming she originally believed it was an April Fool’s Day prank.
The letter informed residents that they are compelled to have their dog’s cheek swabbed and registered to the DNA register used by company PooPrints. They will then DNA test any poop left behind around the building to track down those responsible.
“Due to a small percentage of residents that have not been using the provided pet stations to pick up after their dogs, we are instituting a program known as PooPrints. We are unable to keep up with the un-scooped dog waste and are taking immediate corrective action,” reads the letter.
According to the letter, all dog owners in the apartment complex must register their dog by June 1 and provide a DNA cheek swab or face a fine of $150.
The building is using PooPrints, which uploads the provided DNA swab to a register, against which poop samples provided by the customer, in this case the apartment owners, can be compared.
“The unique genetic profile is generated and matched to the offending canine,” explains the company’s website.
“It’s completely legal. When you live in an apartment community and you’re renting that unit you’re functioning under the rules under that pet policy and lease agreement,” a spokesperson for PooPrints told the Daily Dot.
Any tenants who are found to have not picked up their dog’s mess will be fined $350, as per the warning letter, which also claimed: “If the fine is not paid, the rental agreement will be subject to termination.”
The video reached over 250,000 views in just one day, and viewers were left on the side of the apartment complex owners.
“I mean nobody should have a problem with that, unless they aren’t picking up after their dog,” wrote one user.
“All apartments should be doing this honestly. I’m so tired of people not picking up after their pets. It’s not that damn hard,” added another.
One user recalled finding the same program at other buildings too, writing: “Every apartment my wife and I lived in already required this, it’s pretty normal at this point since people don’t clean up after their pets.”
Viewers are right: Testing poop for DNA is becoming more common across the world, as buildings and even cities attempt to battle the issue of dog mess.
In November, Israel’s Tel Aviv became the latest city to require dog DNA submissions by owners in order to track mess left behind on the streets.
Just like this apartment complex, the feces are then tested and matched up to whichever dog is responsible.
“The initiative is part of a long-running campaign to tackle the minority of dog owners who don’t pick up their mess,” Eytan Halon, a spokesperson for the municipality, told Newsweek.
“One in 11 Tel Aviv residents have a dog, and a small minority do not collect the waste.”