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Here's How Dog Poop Can Help In Finding Owners Who Don't Clean After Their Pets

Aug 10, 2018 08:03 AM EDT
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Irresponsible pet owners who take their dogs out for their regular calls of nature need to be accountable for not cleaning after their pets. Now, thanks to their dogs' poop, they can be traced.

It's a pain to step on a poop while jogging at the park and all the more irritating to witness a dog doing it only to be left there by its owner. There's no problem in dog doing their business. It's natural and nothing awful, but pet owners should know that cleaning up is one of the basic responsibilities in getting pets.

The problem has heavily plagued Italy and other European countries, which have been met with a lot of measures just to address the issue. Fines are already imposed on those erring pet owners, though obviously, it would be hard to know who will be slapped with fine just by basing from the excrement.

Needless to say, concerned authorities must first catch the dog and the owner red-handed, which meant there's a slim chance that people can actually be there always to witness the act. That said, the town of Malnate, specifically the environment department, created a program that can help combat this problem.

Residents were asked this year to register their dogs in the database, a step which will make it easier to catch irresponsible culprits. There are 2,156 canines that were registered and were asked to submit saliva sample. A fine of $58 were given to those who didn't comply within the given time frame.

Deterrent Effect

There are an estimated 150 dogs added every year to the town, and the department is aiming to have the newest addition to the dog population submit their saliva samples as well. The step is also not just to remind pet owners to be responsible, but it is also to give due recognition to pet owners who have done their job without the program.

"The deterrent effect is considerable. Knowing that the local dogs are now recognizable has led many of their masters to behave civilly and the sidewalks are cleaner," environmental commissioner Giuseppe Riggi explained.

Currently, 12 fecal samples were collected from sidewalks. Out of that number, DNA was extracted from nine, and seven matched, and naturally, the pet owners were informed.

In short, DNA gets extracted from the collected dog's poop. This then gets matched to the database. Therefore, it would be easier to know the real culprit.

This isn't exactly the first time the dog's DNA was used in tracing. Mislata, a Spanish community, started the same process of mandating pet owners to register their dogs in order to trace the owners in 2016. Poo Prints is a lab that tests dog poop too.

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