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February 01, 2014

Tales from the condo zone – The poop detectives

Jim Zang

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Have you heard about the company that some condo boards and managers are using to help track down irresponsible dog owners? You know, the ones who leave their squishy, bacteria-laden surprises on the common green spaces.

It’s true, they’re called PooPrints, and dog owners who don’t pick up — beware.

Not only is not picking up a huge environmental, water and health concern, it’s just plain rude. PooPrints offers a solution to the problem by collecting and storing a DNA sample from pets living in the condominium building or community. If someone spots some poop on the lawn, or a culprit in the act, all they’ve got to do is scoop it, send it to the BioPet Vet Lab, and they’ll analyze the evidence. Kind of like CSI for dogs.

“If the evidence was left by your pet,” says Julie Kavanaugh, General Manager of the Calgary based company that actually has the distribution rights for PooPrints in Canada, “we can prove it”.

Already, in both the U.S. and Canada, condominium management companies and homeowner associations are availing themselves of this new tactic in the ongoing war against doggie doo doo. “I call it the $500 cue-tip”, says Kavanaugh, because in some cases, boards have legislated a $500 fine in their bylaws to owners who are caught, um, empty handed.

And if you think it sounds silly, just consider the fact that in Calgary area,  says Kavanaugh, some parks have actually been closed due to canine fecal build-up. In other words, too much poop.

“That’s the next step”, says Kavanaugh, who has been interviewed on Global News recently, “to take the idea to the city.”

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