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Can DNA Testing Solve an Austin Neighborhood's Dog Poo Problem?

Austin is known as a dog friendly city. There’s dog parks, ample off-leash areas – heck, even the City Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on outdoor restaurant patios.

And along with the local acceptance of dogs has come tolerance of the occasional accident. We’ve all seen them – on our front yards, exercise trails and even along the bottoms of our shoes.

Dogs can’t help it – it’s instinctual for them. Their owners, however, can. It’s their responsibility to tend to their animal's needs, little plastic bag in hand, so that when Fido finishes his business, no one else has to deal with the matter.

Unfortunately, some dog owners at The Pointe at Onion Creek, a small condominium complex in South Austin, haven’t been doing their due diligence. Now the home owners association is considering using DNA testing to find out which pooch is pooping and fleeing the scene.

Some of you may be thinking: ‘DNA testing, really?’ But the HOA at The Pointe isn’t the first to try it.

There’s been a movement (no pun intended) over the last few years of using DNA to catch canine culprits in New YorkWashingtonFlorida and now here in Austin. The Pointe’s HOA contracted doggie DNA company PooPrints to help them pinpoint which resident’s dog has been leaving waste around the complex. 

“We aren’t trying to police anyone at The Pointe,” says PooPrints’ Pattie Bunn. “We’ve just been hired to help the community stay green and to make pet owners responsible for their pets. This is the cheapest way for The Pointe and their residents to keep their community clean. It is cheaper than setting up cameras or having a cleaning service come by two or three times a week.”

KUT News tried to contact the HOA at The Pointe, but were unable to get a hold of them. Bunn says PooPrints will assist The Pointe’s HOA and management staff by “collecting the DNA for records,” but it is unclear whether or not residents will even be charged for found waste.

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