MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a stinky, sticky problem that all dog owners have to tackle on a daily basis.
“I don’t like stepping in it, I don’t think anyone else likes to step in it,” said Jim Smart, the father of 7-month-old yellow Labrador.
Picking up after your pet is so unpleasant, lots of people just choose to leave the mess behind, especially in the cold Minnesota winter.
The persistent pet waste problem has led dozens of apartment complexes in the metro area, including the Soo Line building, to hire Bio Pet Labs to tackle the issue.
The company takes DNA swabs from a dog’s cheek and keeps it in a file. The investigation begins when the waste is found.
The apartment complex can send a sample over to Bio Pet Labs, which is based in Tennessee. About two weeks later, the results will be sent back to the apartment building and a positive ID will hopefully be made.
“It’s serious in the sense that people are wonderful pet owners…and dogs are beautiful creatures. I like dogs. It’s also comical because dogs have to have a place to go,” said Joe Tamburino, the chairman of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association.
Space in the city is at a premium, especially in downtown, so the Neighborhood Association isn’t surprised that it’s a problem.
“Why do you want to use 50 square feet or whatever it is for a dog relief area where you could put some structure up?” Tamburino said.
Tamburino believes the potential consequences of the DNA testing could be enough to prompt pet owners to pick up a bag before walking away.
“Most people pay attention to things when it hits their pocket book, so if all of a sudden you are getting fined…you are going to start to listen,” Tamburino said.
The Soo Line Apartment building has not responded to WCCO-TV’s request for comment.
The pet DNA database costs about $100 to set up and between $50 and $60 to register each dog.