Apartment complex orders DNA samples for tenants’ dogs

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Neighbors who don’t clean up after their dogs can be a real nuisance, and one local property management company has come up with a creative way to tackle the problem.

Soon tracking down offenders will involve doggie DNA. And management is all for the investment into cutting edge technology if it cuts down on the problematic poop that some residents are causing a stink over.

“We had some properties where we had a larger amount of dog droppings than we would prefer, and we had a number of resident complaints,” said Chris McKee of the Franklin Johnston Group. “I gotta be honest, at first when the idea was first pitched to me, I said ‘I can’t believe we’re going CSI with dog do.’”

Residents of the River House Apartments in Norfolk received a notice recently that spells out the solution, starting with a cheek swab for their dogs. By June 9, every dog owner at the apartment complex has to bring their pet to the management office for “PooPrints.”

Most of the residents WAVY.com talked to were 100 percent on board.

“I think it will definitely get to the bottom of things rather than putting up cameras everywhere and trying to watch those, which would be more expensive in the long run,” said Scott Johnson.

“You gotta pick up after them, and if you’re not going to do it, then there’s gotta be some way to get people to do it, and I think that’s a pretty awesome way to do it,” said Pat Bagnick.

Other tenants had a little hesitation. After all, it’s not every day you hear about a DNA registry for dogs.

“It just seems a little like it would cost a lot of money for them to do all that just for dog poop,” said Erica Chaudoin. “In the end, it is a good idea, but I do pick up my dog’s poop, so I don’t have to worry about a fee.”

It’s $125 for a first-time offender, $250 to $500 if the drops don’t stop. And if your fine isn’t paid for the poo, your rental agreement is subject to termination. But after doing some research, McKee and the Franklin Johnston Group think PooPrints will be worthwhile.

Riverhouse is currently one of two complexes in Hampton Roads run by the Franklin Johnston Group that are trying out PooPrints. The company implemented the program at Springwater in Virginia Beach a month ago and says they’ve have had huge success — they haven’t had to fine anyone yet.

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