Dog DNA nails irresponsible owners

dogshit.jpg An apartment complex manager began sending dogshit to a DNA testing lab to identify the chef and, by deduction, its owners. It's a simple mechanism: whatever the cost is, make the fine higher. From Reuters' Zach Howard:
Dog-friendly Twin Ponds, located near the border with Massachusetts, is BioPet's largest client using PooPrints to solve the mystery of who left the offending mound. Using doggie DNA to solve the smelly who did it is becoming increasingly popular in apartment complexes nationwide from Jupiter, Florida to Rockville Center, New York, where violators are fine up to $1,000 per steaming pile.
The service used is called PooPrints. You may open a franchise.

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  1. So you steal poop out of the garbage and shake it on the ground and your jerk of a neighbor/victim gets a $1000 fine?

    Sounds like injustice to me!

  2. Is it really cheaper to get angry and spend time collecting samples and levy fines than it would be to take the condo fees and pay some kid to pick it up for an hour every day? I mean really. Is this about picking up dog poo, or playing CSI so you can be a miserable screw?

    1. It’s less about the fact that there’s dog poo everywhere, and more about publicly shaming the dog’s owner about their lack of personal responsibility. If your dog craps, it’s your job to clean it up, not some hired kid.

    2. No, it’s cheaper if people would simply clean up after their G-Damn animals. How effin’ hard is it to bend over and bag the dogs crap? I mean really… If you have your own yard and want the dog to shit all over the place, have at it. In an apt/condo setting, its not your yard, and it is NOT appropriate to leave the shit wherever the dog decides to deposit it. EVEN if the condo association paid a kid for an hour of fecal fetching, the other 23 hours of the day there is dog shit sitting there, stinking, sticking to grass/pavement and being an eyesore. If it is REALLY that difficult for you to clean up after your dog, you know what the solution is, right? DON’T HAVE A DOG!

      1. Seriously? You say “God Damned Animals” and you expect to be taken seriously by an animal lover. Good luck with that.

        Dog shit is annoying. It is also not worth overreacting about any more than crying babies or loud engines.

        If you hate animals that much, live somewhere that they are prohibited. Seems your problem is with other people… so before you go down that road, make sure your own shit don’t stink.

        I Guarantee that you piss someone off some way that they don’t want to have to deal with. So you could be agreeable to viable solutions…. or you can play CSI and be all passive aggressive.

        I say that if it’s a problem, then there are a lot of dogs causing it. If there are just a few, you can ‘catch them’…. but really…. the condo fees could be a viable solution to a common problem.

        Unless you want to start fining people for things like crying babies and loud engines or BEING ON YOUR LAWN

    3. It’s simple economic theory. Paying a student to pick up dog poo every day provides no incentive for dog owners to pick up after their animals. And because it comes out of condo fees, it punishes everyone equally — the courteous, the disrespective, and the non-dog owners alike.

      The threat of a $1000 DNA testing “fine” and the despisement of your neighbours when they find out you were the guilty one is a very effective negative incentive.

      1. You know, if you live somewhere that a $1000 fine and DNA technology is the best they can do to work this situation out…. well…. you have the neighbors you deserve.

    4. I vote for paying to nail the culprits who think it’s ok to leave piles of fecal matter behind. Common sense and written policy say that it’s inappropriate to make your dog’s feces someone else’s problem by failing to pick it up. People who commit such violations need to be held accountable for their actions and made an example of as a deterrent to others. Teaching people to associate picking up after their dogs with avoiding an expensive fine is a better strategy than paying someone a pittance to pick up someone else’s disgusting mess. We don’t have a bhangi caste in this country- Let’s keep it that way.

    5. I checked out some other news stories on this company…sounds like some apartments currently spend $10-12k a year for pick up services. The report said the test is a one-time deal, $30. So for 100 residents with dogs, $3000 for testing is a lot better than $10-12,000 for pick up I think!

    6. i welcome you to live in hollywood on franklin and la brea, where the morning sunrise brings the warm stinging fragrance of pet love. which building houses the offender? or are the offenders trucking in from the valley to enjoy a nice steamy stroll through the vines? it is all an educated guess for dog csi.

  3. I think the threat of an enforceable fine (scaring owners into actually being responsible because they believe they could really be caught) is intended to prevent the problem in the first place.

    Although I do kind of imagine Uncle Buck threatening to send toothbrushes down to the lab to see if they’ve “really” been used.

  4. I just can’t get my head around how dog owners rationalize leaving fecal matter and urine on property they don’t own. If you want to live in uncivilized conditions with biological contagions like dog hair, fecal matter, and vermin, that is your prerogative. Leaving that crap on other people’s property, and in public, is arrogant and self-centered. There is no rational argument to the contrary.

    1. Fecal matter they shouldn’t. Urine is easy enough to rationalize, though: it’s clean, and if you have ever had a cat, rabbit, squirrel, or bird pass through your yard, you’ve had worse.

  5. I dislike stepping in dog poo as much as anyone, but seriously, people just need to learn to chill the F*** out!

  6. What about cat poo? When are responsible cat owners going to follow their cats around and pick up their poo? Why is it that dogs are the only ones getting a “bum” rap (bad pun intended)?

    1. You do know that cats BURY their poop, right? Dog owners get the rap they do because dogs not only leave it on the surface but they drop much bigger loads.

    2. Responsible cat owners keep their cats inside, so it isn’t an issue. Yes, I *know* there are people who think it is cool to let their cats basically live as wild animals, but it isn’t cool at all. Not for their environment (cats are major bird predators) nor for the cats themselves (even in an urban area, predators like coyotes are becoming prevalent in many places in America, and they find cats as easy prey, plus the ever present danger of automobiles).

      1. As far as I’m concerned, keeping cats (or any animal for that matter) locked indoors is really, really cruel. Yes, there are risks if you go outside. Same thing thing is true for you; better stay inside to avoid any possible accidents. (I know of precisely one cat out of dozens in the neighborhood over the last two decades that died outside — hit by a car).

        1. That’s not the opinion of the Humane Society and most environmental groups, both of which support indoor lifestyles for cats. Do you also think it is cruel to neuter pets?

          As for why I don’t stay inside myself (ignoring the fact that I haven’t managed to con somebody else to work to keep me in food, shelter and toys as my cat has), if I lived in a place where predators larger than me roamed freely and if I didn’t understand the concept of cross walks, staying inside would be a smart strategy for me as well.

          1. Not to mention that some people really resent cats and will poison them.

            No, I don’t mean that as a threat. I mean it because some one did that to a friend’s cat and he’s still hurt because he had to watch his animal die painfully not knowing which neighbor did it.

            I have a cat. He stays inside. He’s not a native species outside, and AFAICT he’s pretty happy with the arrangement. Why would I let him out to: kill birds, kill small reptiles, potentially anger my neighbors, get into fights with feral cats or neighbor’s cats, get infected with diseases from other animals, get hit by a car, get eaten by a coyote (there are many where I live) or larger cat (also those), get attacked by kids as a prank… the list goes on.

            He’s fine inside. If you don’t like domestic life for animals, then you shouldn’t own a domestic animal at all!

          2. I agree. If it’s an animal that has to roam free in order to lead a happy life then it’s not an animal well suited for pet-hood. Unless you live on a huge property that you can be reasonably sure your pet never leaves, it belongs indoors or in a fenced area whenever it’s not under direct supervision.

        2. you should re-read his post in its entirety. and you merely underscored auto death; ‘just one cat’ could be a very important number.

        3. We have coyotes. Cats are snacks and going out is a death sentence. One even took a small dog from under its owners nose just two weeks ago while she was playing with it in her own yard.

        4. The lifespan of an indoor cat (around 12-15 years) is SEVERAL TIMES longer on average than that of an outdoor cat (often less than 3 years), per the ASPCA, Humane Society, and other organizations that know what they’re talking about. Due not only to cars and predators, but also to bad weather (heat, snow/cold, floods), fights with other cats, diseases and parasites picked up from other cats, prey animals, and the environment (like all that poop out there). And humans abusing them – the shelters in Philly actually won’t adopt out black cats near Halloween because of human cruelty.

          It also leads, when combined with a lack of spaying/neutering, to a large population of feral cats. And indoor cats live an extra few years if spayed/neutered, too, BTW, due to lack of certain cancers. Besides it avoiding problem behaviors and unwanted kittens.

          My cat loves to look out windows… but if you actually take him outside he panics and tries to get inside every doorway, alley, anything he can find (I tried it with a leash once – leash was no problem, but outdoors was another story). He’s also far too sweet-natured and clumsy to defend himself well against feral cats, dogs, or the wildcats, foxes, bears, and other predators that live in this area. And this winter the snow was several times deeper than his (fairly tall) height!

          If he were an outdoor cat he’d almost certainly be dead by now, even if he weren’t a total homebody wuss – my aunt alone has lost multiple cats and I believe even a small DOG to coyotes, well below his current age. Instead he’s sleeping on his favorite pillow, perfectly healthy, expecting dinner in 10 minutes, he gave me kisses for reaching over and scratching his ears, and he’s SMILING in his sleep. (Yes, my cat actually smiles, like people. It’s pretty damn adorable.) He even gets to chase mice once in a while and has tons of toys the rest of the time. I’m not really seeing how I could possibly be guilty of cruelty here.

          You want to know a common practice that’s actually cruelty to cats? Declawing. It removes the entire first joint, and if done wrong – as it all too often is – can lead to the cat being in constant pain and having difficulty walking/jumping its entire life. And if you then let the cat out, it can’t defend itself. Instead, clip the cat’s nails or apply Soft Paws (or another brand of glue-on claw coating tips). If you train the cat to let you handle its paws from when it’s a kitten, you can EASILY do it yourself (I do for mine) – and it can be done for the back paws too, which declawing almost never is.

      1. My dog craps in the back corner of the yard behind the bushes. She doesn’t like it when I watch. The ferral cats from the neighbor’s feed dump crap everywhere. Try and tell me that cat crap on top of the patio table is buried. Cat shit is the worst and guess what, it comes from cats.

    3. Cats poop in boxes. Some of the smart ones use toilets. They aren’t the ones pooping on sidewalks.

  7. @emmdeeaych
    It would be cheaper if dog owners picked up after the dog. If you don’t want to pick it up, don’t get a dog

    as a side note I have 3 dogs and always pick up after them.

  8. Great, franchises! Coming soon to officious busybodies near you!

    On the other hand, I completely agree with Diluded.

  9. Cat shit is far nastier, especially in soil you use for growing veg.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dog owner and it agitates me when people don’t clean up after their dogs, but really, cat owners basically buy an animal then let it out to do whatever it wants whenever it wants. THAT’S irresponsible.

    I’d like to see signs in every UK city that threaten cat owners with fines for their cat mess, the same way our streets are littered with anti-dog fouling signs. At least most dog owners do clean up after their pets.

  10. you have to get you dog’s dna on file before they can match it.

    so why would you voluntarily commit to putting your dog’s dna on this file and then not pick up the shit?

    this seems like an incredible waste of money for suckers.

  11. Also a nice way to punish that neighbor you don’t like. Remove dog-poop-filled plastic bag from garbage, secretly empty contents onto walkway. PRESTO! Your neighbor now owes $1000!
    Recommended for those possessing gloves and a faulty moral compass.

  12. This happened in my apartment complex. The dog owner was having his dog crap in the middle of the lobby, about four times per month. Now he’s gone. It was completely justified.

  13. And so we see the excellent principle that punishments should not fit the severity of the crime, but the cost of enforcing them. I’m sure this serves us well in other areas.

  14. Having worked at a dog-friendly workplace and lived in a dog-friendly apartment complex, I don’t see why people are shocked at this. It’s disgusting to step in dog crap that’s been left by a careless owner. And in my experience, somewhere around 80% of the people who let their dogs roam off-leash (another no-no in those places) were the same who wouldn’t pick up after them night after night.

    Since these people can’t be shamed into picking it up, they might as well be fined for it until they start. And I’d much rather them doing something like the dna-testing instead of something more drastic like surveillance cameras focusing on every cm^2 of the grounds.

  15. This is f**king ridiculous. We are using DNA analysis like a nosy neighbor on steroids to FINE PEOPLE FOR RANDOM DOGSHIT? Really?!

    My god. I thought elderly Japanese housewives rummaging through my personal household garbage was intrusive. This… this is way, waaaay too much. To say this is overkill is an understatement. This is something out of a dystopian DNA hound nightmare.

    Who passes their time to do this? Is this what we’ve devolved to? Performing DNA analysis on dogshit? And what of the people who do this for a living-

    1st person- “Hi, I’m Jon and I’m a retail consultant. And you?”
    2nd person- “The name’s Dave, and I work in a DNA lab.”
    1st person- “Oh, you work in a lab? Cool! What do you do?”
    2nd person- “I analyze the DNA in dogshit for a living.”
    1st person- “Um, WTF!?
    2nd person- “Yeah. Apparently there are people with so much money, and so much free time they pay me to compare DNA to local dogs to help them fine people for letting their dogs shit on other’s lawns. I can’t believe it either, this isn’t what I spent 8 years in med school for, but hey, it’s a living”.

    I am speechless.

    1. This is f**king ridiculous. We are using DNA analysis like a nosy neighbor on steroids to FINE PEOPLE FOR RANDOM DOGSHIT? Really?!

      It’s not “random” dog shit. It’s dog shit left behind by a specific (and identifiable) pet owner who thinks common standards of decency don’t apply to them. As a dog owner myself I say BRAVO. I hate stepping in the stuff as much as anyone else, which is why I never take my golden retriever out in public without some plastic baggies.

      As far as I’m concerned if you’re not willing to take responsibility for what happens to the shit that comes out of an animal then you shouldn’t be entrusted to care for that animal in the first place. That goes for dogs, cats, and young children alike.

  16. How many turds from unregistered dogs will they test before they realize it’s starting to get expensive?

  17. So now if your dog runs away, not only do you have the heartbreak of not knowing whether you will be able to retrieve it, but you can also get fines for its actions while it vanished.

    No, I don’t think the apartment managers will care if there was anything you could do once they’ve already paid for the PCR lab. Bureaucracy is more powerful than understanding.

  18. No, that’s second on the agenda. We’ll talk about that later in the meeting. First up, I want every goddamn dog on a leash!!! (except in dog parks) and the leash laws enforced!!! I’m sick to my soul of dog attacks cuz some owner simply refuses to accept their pet is a DOG, and dog behavior changes off-leash and out of sight of their owners. Dogs shed their cute and friendly and become mostly…dogs! They also refuse to spend time and money on the dog and train it – it’s a ‘pet’ to them and they only work with the animal to the degree that they can live together.

    Meanwhile…Fido has been sitting in the house watching out the window every time some dog and their owner walked by and whizzed on the lawn and/or left a pile. Off-leash and outdoors, dogs have property to guard and rules to enforce. It’s their job, coded into their DNA. Indoors they’re confined and possibly packless, it’s just them against every walk-by dog in the neighborhood. Once out the door, they have an extensive sense of territorialism. A dog of ANY SIZE hurdling at you teeth bared to teach your dog some manners canine-style(nope, not going there), is a scary situation!- especially for the owner hog-tied in the leash.

    I’ll save my commentary regarding the politics of Animal Control for the inevitable rebuttal.

    1. My leash law says “under control of the owner”, not “leashed” specifically. Problem dogs are a problem, as are problem people.

  19. As long as these enforcement programs are self-funded (e.g., through the fines) I can’t criticize this on ‘waste of money’ grounds. I like the idea, but it may not reflect well on my humanity — I enjoy seeing a little bit of punishment for antisocial behavior (in the general sense… I think that word means something different in the UK).

    Now if only there was a way to get rid of Canadian geese. Those are a much bigger problem imho. :-)

  20. Stay tuned for PooPrints’ next franchise opportunities, “ButtBeGone” and “LaterLoogie”, intended to solve the problem of improperly discarded cigarette butts and people spitting on the sidewalk, respectively. Both work by taking DNA profiles of each resident in order to create a DNA database of the entire facility. Once all genetic profiles are complete, “ButtsBeGone” and “LaterLoogie” are fully enforceable by means of simple comparison. We compare the saliva samples you send us to the DNA samples in our database, and send you the ID number of the matching offender.

  21. Picking up your dog’s crap is of course the right thing to do and pretty much all responsible dog owners will do it these days.

    However, this seems completely nuts.
    The argument that the fine of 1000 dollars is fair because that’s what it costs to do the DNA test is ridiculous. It’s the apartment complex’s choice to send it off to some crazy CSI lab at great cost – it’s got nothing to do with the amount of harm it actually causes.

    The fact is that if someone doesn’t pick up after their dog, and you step in it, we’re talking about having a stinky shoe that you have to clean off. It’s gross, yes.
    But y’all are crazy to think it justifies a 1000 dollar fine.

  22. I REALLY hate to sound like Dick Cheney here, but as far as using DNA to catch assholes who let their dogs shit and piss on anything they please and then can’t be bothered to clean it up – Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. Or bitch about.

  23. When I was about 12 my dad and I were watching TV when we noticed a neighbor letting his dog poop on our lawn. Everything was fine until the man and his dog started to walk away. At that point, my Archie Bunker-esque dad, clad in a wife beater shirt and boxers, sprang from the La-Z-Boy and yelled out the front door, “Hey asshole, aren’t you going to pick that up?!” The guy picked up the poop bare-handed and carried it as he walked away. My dad’s way method of addressing the problem was a bit uncouth, but then again so is not picking up after your dog. In any case, I never saw any neighbors’ dogs poop in our yard after that.

  24. I’ve never figured out why anybody would let their dog leave poop in public when they wouldn’t poop in public themselves. It’s not like the dog’s turds smell any sweeter.

  25. I’m very conscientious about picking up my dog’s crap. Sometimes, if there’s another pile nearby when I have a bag handy I pick up that, too.

    The dog helps keep down the amount of pet crap in the environment by eating any cat shit she can find.

    Problem:

    The Runs

    It’s really hard to pickup diarrheal crap. Not without pulling up the grass, too.

    Half-way solution: I carry a bag of dried grass or bark dust when the dog has the turkey squirts. I mix this in with the liqui–poop, allowing maybe 90% of it be scooped up. Then I hide the rest with some more dried grass.

    Best I can, sorry.

    1. Wow. You are considerate. I don’t have dogs, is it common for them to get the runs like that?

      1. ” . . . is it common for them to get the runs like that?”

        Not common. Two or three “attacks” a year, lasting a day or so.

        * * *
        My apartment complex has five, maybe six dog poop bag dispenser stations. Seven or eight dumpsters. But there are still lazy jackass dog owners who don’t clean up shit piles.

        I’ve taken to hanging a dog shit bag on a clip on my dog’s leash (Seen off to the left, here) as a signal to busybodies that I’m not one of those dog owners.

  26. Yes, irresponsible dog owners are a problem, and responsible ones take the heat for it. How does a dog-hating crusader know the owner they are accosting is the one responsible if there were no witnesses? Other than DNA, I mean? They don’t, but that does nothing to stop their rabid tirade or their unjust accusations, not to mention their dangerous approach of a stranger in an aggressively righteous and indignant manner that could get them hurt. Stupid and dangerous behavior, but it is perfectly acceptable to them as they spotted someone walking a dog in a place where there is dog poop! Oh, the humanity! You are spotted walking a dog, therefore every single dropping in the vicinity is your fault. Never mind the presence of doggie bags on your person. That is obviously just camouflage, so you can allow your dog to poop indiscriminately without having to pick it up. Honestly, people who take this as a crusade do have a point, but they are totally nuts when viewed by a responsible dog owner who becomes one of their victims by virtue of owning one. My next door neighbor in my old neighborhood was an old lady whose property happened to be located at the end of the alley and the side lawn was a perfect stop on the doggie highway. My dog used it too, but I cleaned up after him at all times. There were still canine bombs in that yard. Imagine that. They weren’t made by my dog, so I didn’t clean them up. The adult daughter of the property owner stopped by my house, as I own a dog and therefore must be responsible for ALL of it. I told her how it was, that I was cleaning up after my dog, but all dogs in the ‘hood used it and how is that my fault? She made obliquely threatening references to her husband who is a sheriff’s deputy, so I took it upon myself to clean that old lady’s yard of all doggie stuff and keep it clean. After all, why not be a good neighbor by providing a service? This way, the old lady (who couldn’t really do it herself) gets a poop free yard and her grandkids don’t get doggie trash on their feet and hands and I get a feel-good chore to occupy some time and don’t get hassled by a cop. It wasn’t that big a deal to me and I was happy to do it. I did this all through the summer. Well, I went on vacation one week so the poop accumulated, none of which was my dog’s as he was with me and was pooping out of state. That adult daughter was on my doorstep the moment I got home, cussing me out and using her cop husband as a threat. She said she was going to have her husband kill my dog and there was not a thing I could do about it, because he was a cop. She crossed the line with that threat, implying that people who are married to cops or know cops are better than people who don’t and are not subject to the law. I disabused her of that notion in the rudest, most threatening way possible. She learned that day that you do not make random threats to people, even if your husband is a cop. ESPECIALLY if your husband is a cop. After all, that person just might be a psychopath, which is what I verbally convinced her of. I had no choice, as I had to convince her that killing my dog was the biggest mistake she would make in her entire life. Threatening the life of someone’s dog is illegal and is like threatening the lives of their children to them. Nobody can be expected to act rationally when their children are threatened and so you should never do it. These people really need some perspective and to gain the sure knowledge that the world wasn’t made to cater to their every whim. I liked the suggestion in an earlier comment that stated the housing association would be better served financially by hiring a boy to clean it up every day, rather than jumping through such extreme hoops. But that does not address the issue of the rudeness of the owners who just leave it, so other measures are needed. Just goes to show how someone can take a public hygiene issue and become a crusading, rabid twat with no sense of decency, common sense or fairness. Some of us attempt to do what is right at all times, but it doesn’t seem to matter to most, and especially not with this issue. You have a dog, therefore you are guilty, evidence to the contrary will not be considered. Just know that if you threaten me or mine because of some totally imaginary sleight you think I am guilty of instead of taking the time to ask or present evidence, you have just started a war you cannot and will not win. I train and control my dog at all times and clean up after him if on a walk. Every. Single. Time. Accusing me of things I did not do just may start a fight with a guy whose German Shepherd will become extremely dismayed at his pack leader being in a fight.

    If you suspect or witness someone not obeying leash or litter laws, do not threaten the dog. Be smart and sensible and use whatever system is in place to take care of the matter.

  27. What measures did the apartment complex manager utilize to resolve the dispute before resorting to DNA testing? I’m betting the rules about picking up after pets were printed in the rental agreement, that was read and signed by the renters. Those same renters when confronted with the evidence then lied their asses off with, ‘It wasn’t my dog’ or ‘Yeah? – prove it!’ Was there a meeting where the manager suggested raising rents to cover the cost of ‘poo removal’ and the non-dog owners and responsible pet owners balked? ‘Why should we have to pay for the misbahavior of renters who aren’t willing to take responsibility for their dogs?’

    DNA testing would not have been the manager’s first choice. He didn’t wake up one morning and say to himself, ‘You know what would a real kick to do….?’ He determined to hold responsible the exact dog owners leaving their pet’s poo behind and remove the pall of suspicion from every dog owner in the building, and neighbors as well. I’d be curious to know how many fines will be meted out before he sees a change in the miscreant’s behavior?

    Managers are there to protect the building owner’s interest first, the renter’s second.

  28. HA! I can see pranksters going out and pinching one on his lawn just so he can get the result back from the lab that says “not canine feces, possibly human.”

  29. So to summarize these comments, like the entire rest of human history a few people ruin everything for everyone.

  30. Many dogs like to eat feces, so some samples are going to contain the DNA of the feces eating dog and the DNA of the dog whose feces were eaten. Does the testing process take this into account?

    1. What a highly unlikely situation that

      1) You would find a piece of shit 1/2 eaten
      2) That the sample would be from a spot that had enough saliva
      3) That said sample was enough to contaminate the DNA results.
      4) Probably the biggest one – the dog owner walking their dog is going to let their dog eat some other dog’s shit.

      1. The mixed DNA would not be from saliva on the feces, silly. The feces of the “eater” dog would also contain feces of the “donor” dog which passed through it’s digestive system. If you think a person letting (or failing to notice) their dog eating another dog’s feces is a rare occurrence then you have encountered more vigilant dog owners and/or more obedient and less avid feces eating dogs than I have.

        1. If that was enough to invalidate the DNA sample then presumably all poo-based samples would be useless. Remember: everything that poops eats food containing the DNA of other organisms.

          Either way I can’t imagine how a second dog could eat the poop of the first dog unless that first dog’s owner was also guilty of non-scoopage, so even in your unlikely second-hand poo scenario it wouldn’t result in an innocent owner getting fined.

  31. My neighbors across the pod have solved their dog needs problem by letting him shit (and presumably piss) on their patio (we’re on the second floor), separated from the common walkway by a mostly transparent security screen. They clean it up a couple of times per year. There are hundred of dog turds visible to anyone who walks by. It’s also over 100° here for four months, which turns their patio into a giant plug-in air de-freshener.

    So, in my reality, taking the dog down to shit on the lawn would actually be a step forward.

    1. Oh dear. Sounds like a public health hazard. Any possibility of help from either animal control or the health dept.?

      Meantime…my sympathies.

      1. I don’t really want to piss off the neighbors, and the city generally won’t do anything unless they can get money out of it. Shaking down individual homeowners is easier than shaking down an HOA. And the HOA here is run by honey badger.

        1. Where’s Barbara Billingsley when I need her? ‘Honey badger’?

          ( Mellivora capensis), badgerlike member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) noted for its fondness for honey. Ratels live in covered and forested regions of Africa and southern Asia. The adult stands 25-30 cm (10-12 inches) at the shoulder and has a heavily built, thick-skinned body about 60-77 cm (24-30 inches) long, plus a tail length of 20-30 cm. The ears are rudimentary; the upper body parts are whitish, but the lower parts, face, and legs are black-the two colours sharply separated

          Heeheeheeheehee…nope, probably not that one, although this is also an animal you would want to leave alone. Let’s try the Urban Dictionary…

          1. Honey Badger 74 up, 22 down
          A Honey badger is one fearless mother fucker! He is the ultimate badass of the animal kingdom. No one knows what they look like, as anyone who’s ever seen one has been immediately killed by said badger. They wouldn’t think twice about starting some shit and are actually totally fearless, when they kill something (usually 100+ kills a day), they crack open their victims skulls with their teeth and eat their brains and digest their thoughts. This makes the Honey Badger the world’s most intelligent and ruthless mother fucker out there. They will also sleep with and impregnate your sister while she sleeps.

          Oh. Again my sympathies, FWIW.

          We called our HOA honey badger ‘Heinz’. I felt fairly certain in our brief dealings with him, that he was a sociopath. After the last election, we now refer to the badger as ‘Lynn’ but usually just ‘She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Or-Looked-At-Directly’. In our effort to get some help from our HOA to counter off-leash dog attacks, we found out what our neighbors really care about – property values, not personal safety. They thought that the attacks were the dog-owner’s problem, so now we carry pepper spray to walk our dog in our own neighborhood.

          Given the logic and values of HOA boards, wouldn’t the sight of a patio covered in feces then represent a threat to their properties collectively and illict some kind of response? (None of my business of course, but I like and value your presence here at BB and this is my way of showing it. And as Petersen can avow, I’m nosey).

          G.

    2. I have a similar horror story: The people in the house behind us have a medium-sized yard. Rather than walk their dog, they simple open their sliding door and let the dog crap in their yard. They don’t watch the dog. When the dog is ready to come back in, it barks by the sliding door for about ten minutes before the neighbors realize it’s finished crapping.

      Fine, they’re too lazy to walk their dog, that’s their business. The only problem is, the dog wanders into our yard. EVERY SINGLE DAY I’d find dog crap in my yard. We complained, and these people were pissed off that we said something. We have a small yard, and we plant flowers and vegetables and try to create beauty. One day we’re outside, and the woman dog person comes out and yells at us.

      For almost a year, to my relief, there’s been no dog crap, but just a few days ago I was outside and guess what I almost stepped in.

      I don’t understand how people can let their dogs roam unsupervised off their property. I really don’t.

  32. I’m pretty sure whoever thought of it did so after one of the many CSI TV marathons they run every week and just thought it would be cool.

    My question is that if the 1 grand covers sending and testing the crap, won’t that leave management holding the bag when they get shit that isn’t in the database, like human shit or dogshit from a foreign dog? That could get expensive.

    1. Nothing you can’t solve by charging the first perpetrator more! They’re doing something wrong, and nobody likes poop, so who cares whether they end up paying tens of thousands of dollars or not?

  33. I have never understood why it’s OK for your dog to crap on my property as long as you clean it up afterwards. Can I come in and crap on your kitchen floor? I promise to wipe it up, sort of.

  34. We had a cat that we let outside to visit with her kitty friends. Then one of her kitty friends passed on the FIP virus it was carrying to her (essentially Cat Aids) and we had to put her down. Our current cat is an indoor cat. She’s safer that way.

    As for the dog crap, I’ve picked up poop my awesome neighbors left directly under the city provided dog dirt disposal bag stand. Lazy dog owners make it harder for decent dog owners and their pets to live in this world. I say fine the hell out of them, maybe they’ll learn.

  35. Because you don’t normally have people crapping on your floor, but animals do on your yard all the time? No, you don’t want the large volume that dogs leave, and decent people remove it. But if you’re worried about the existence of residue and germs, I have bad news, your lawn is not a clean environment either way.

  36. Just FYI, it is Rockville CENTRE, New York. I don’t know why they spell it that way, but the people who live there are very particular about it.

  37. When I lived in England, I owned two dogs and would spend one day a week walking them around the local football field and picking up all the mess that other owners had left behind. I’m not sure about the statistics of dog owners who don’t pick up after their dogs in my area, but 5-10 dog owners who didn’t bother could easily make a field pretty disgusting. I could almost fill a carrier bag every week with the mess left in the five a side sized pitch, which was used throughout the day by young kids.

    The way I see it, dog owners already go out expecting to clean up their own dog’s poop, it’s really not that difficult to clear up a couple of other messes. People who don’t own dogs won’t have the tools to clear up dog mess and will probably be a lot more grossed out when faced with it. It actually helps the responsible owners too, seeing as other people see an improvement in the condition of the public area and are less likely to criticise the nearest dog walker. Other than that, dog walkers are at best not making the situation any worse but not improving their environment at all either. If your area is anything like mine was, the best you can expect from the government is a fairly regular emptying of the bins and possibly a very rare poop clean up.

    1. Actually, this principle seems to apply in quite a few other cases, where a small action (say, clearing away coffee cups in an office) would prevent a slight nuisance for everyone else, but it would also be slightly inconvenient for you. Add that to the fact that you would be anonymous and so any annoyance would be generally directed at the whole group of coffee drinkers, dog walkers etc., that small inconvenience stops being worth it for you. In the end, the problem gets so bad that people who used to care don’t bother any more. The answer can’t be just to track down every offender, although confronting people does help. Expecting the government, your boss, your HOA or whatever to provide money to sort the problem out is also usually pointless, although they may do something small and irregular. Of course it’s everyone’s responsibility to clear up after themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to offset any failure to do so by clearing up twice the mess you make while you’re at it.

  38. Quick get an internet kitty chaser for Saturday AM. Any delay and the cat lovers in this post are likely to start a dog killing spree over the weekend.

    1. the offending dogs should be outfitted with ankle bracelets

      A butt plug would be a more direct solution.

      1. beneficial to man, but cruel and unusual punishment for dogs (or maybe a new product has just been generated by this thread).

        i think the owners should be prescribed the butt plugs, they would relax them into being more responsible.

  39. To those who replied to me:

    Why I think it’s cruel to keep a cat confined to an apartment: Cats are able to and will happily run fast and relatively long distances if they have the opportunity. Depriving them of that is somewhat unnatural. Also, even pets have social lives.

    If they aren’t safe where you live (e.g. a coyote will eat them on day 1), then it’s simple: just don’t keep cats. If a cat doesn’t want to go outside even if it could, simple, they can choose to stay inside. If there are cats in your area that you can provide a better home for and that means keeping them indoors, then by all means, do that; better than nothing.

    I’m just skeptical of the concept of keeping pets for your own entertainment; they are individuals with their own identity and should be treated as such.

    And finally, my father is a veterinarian which means I’ve seen all kinds of sick and injured cats. In my area, cats who roam freely tend to be healthier; lack of exercise isn’t just bad for humans, y’know.

    Regarding de-clawing: agreed, that’s horrible. I was absolutely horrified when I learned that this is done in the US. There’s a reason it’s outlawed in most civilized countries.

    1. Why I think it’s cruel to keep a cat confined to an apartment: Cats are able to and will happily run fast and relatively long distances if they have the opportunity. Depriving them of that is somewhat unnatural. Also, even pets have social lives.

      Just out of curiosity (and other cat people may answer as well), why do cats deserve to roam free when no other pet does? A pet owner who lets their dog or ferret or rhesus monkey or pygmy hippopotamus roam the neighborhood all day is deemed “irresponsible” while cats are granted a magical exception.

        1. Please link me to an article about the most recent mauling of a human by a tabby cat.

          So your only criteria for which pets should be allowed to roam free and unfettered in an urban environment is whether or not they are a species known to maul human beings? Fair enough, just don’t complain when your neighbor’s monkey shits on your porch.

          My personal philosophy is that if you can’t answer the question “where is your pet now?” with any greater specificity than “somewhere in the neighborhood, I guess” then it’s not really your pet at all. It’s just a feral animal that you happen to feed.

          1. It’s just a feral animal that you happen to feed.

            A succinct description of Felis catus.

          2. “My personal philosophy is that if you can’t answer the question “where is your child now?” with any greater specificity than “somewhere in the neighborhood, I guess” then it’s not really your child at all. It’s just a feral animal that you happen to feed.”

            heh heh heh

          3. Well, in the case of young children you should be able to answer that question just to avoid a prison sentence for child neglect. Also, as a parent of two young children I can confidently state that I am willing to take personal responsibility for each and every turd they produce.

            @Anon #98: I think that was an ape, not a monkey.

            @Antinous #99: I knew there was a reason the species wasn’t called Felis domesticus.

          4. I said “children”, not “young children”: although I agree with what you imply – young children and infants are much like animals!

            When it comes to the responsibilities of those who care for them, that is.

          5. The similarity between children and animals has been noted before.

            In fact, the first “child welfare” organization in Canada, those of Ottawa of the late 1800’s, was a part of “The Society for the Protection of Animals and Children”.

            “In January 1888, a small group of ladies formed the Women’s Humane Society of Ottawa. This organization enforced the new animal protection laws and focused on bettering the lives of neglected children by lobbying for legislation to provide for foster homes.”

            From:

            http://www.ottawahumane.ca/about/history.cfm

            It was only after a decade or two that it was thought proper to formally separate the two endeavours, each to their own organization – the Humane Society for animal welfare, and the Children’s Aid Society, for children’s welfare.

            I suppose the reasons why people felt (and feel) the need to get involved is
            similar for both causes – the action is demanded by our uplifting and useful modern values of kindness and humanitarianism.

            I further suppose that the rules promulgated and enforced by those organizations are also supported by people who themselves have no care of animals or of children because of the problems which otherwise tend to arise – like the one discussed this thread –
            where either animal owners or parents refuse or are otherwise unable to provide the level of care which their charges require.

            It is a sign of our modernity that we feel empowered and indeed required to intervene. Perhaps the West’s concerns as to the status of women in other societies is a further development of this modern desire to help those whose masters are not “up to the mark”. If so, I would like to say here that women are neither children nor animals, nor is it proper to treat them as such.

            I recall once perusing a book on “how to raise boys” from the 1870s while browsing a boxful of antique books at a country auction, and its author was quite explicit: young boys are exactly like wild animals in their deficiency of reason and lack of self-control, and are therefore to be disciplined, trained, and generally dealt with, in ways similar or indeed identical to those used while dealing with animals.

          1. Wow. It sounds like that guy freaked out that the neighbor’s cat was in their living room (although I don’t know how he even saw it with all those patterned fabrics and bric-a-brac) and decided to attack it with a knife, so the cat fought back. Of course, the cat was euthanized rather than the idiot.

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