The Real Estate OMG Department: Does Angela Hunt Really Want DNA Testing on Dallas Turds?

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Now I’ve heard everything. At Wednesday’s Dallas City Council meeting, our fearless leaders were actually pitched the idea of creating a citywide program to test every Dallas dog’s DNA in order to cure people who don’t clean up after their pups. The pitch came from a company that runs a dog-poo DNA program in use at the Ilume, called Poo Prints. Love the name. The Ilume, in case you do not know, is a way cool, high end apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road near the Tollway. All pet owners who live there must submit to DNA testing of their dog’s poo and keep it on file. Why? Because some dumb, irresponsible dog owners don’t pick up their dog’s poo, and guess what, in the day and age when you cannot hide from anyone  — I just learned they can now test for alcohol in breast milk —  a company, Poo Prints, can DNA test your dog’s poop and nab you. Here’s how it works: a resident with a pet signs a lease, and the dog’s cheek is swabbed. This sample is sent to the BioPet Vet Lab in Tennessee, which extracts the animals’ DNA, keeps it on file. Let’s say the apartment manager finds an errant turd. He puts it in a $30 container with enzymes, shakes, and sends it to the lab. The DNA is analyzed and, with 99.9 percent certainty, the owner of the turd is ID’d. At the Ilume, if you are not a responsible pet owner and do not bag up the poop, and if it matches the DNA of one of the dogs there on file, busted! The owner faces a $250 fine. Manager Joshuah Welch says they have more than 300 pets at Ilum and they are serious about poop. Seems Poo Prints has made his life much easier:

“We’ve gone from maybe an hour a day of poop pick-up, to picking up maybe one or two a month,” he said. The complex has about 300 pets, and Welch says residents pay the entire cost of the enforcement program.

Does this sound harsh? Not for a high density living area, no. I hate it when people don’t pick up after their dogs because it’s unsanitary and just gross, and there is no need for it. Live in the country or on multiple acres, who cares. But when there is limited grasslands (read: poo land) I do think pet owners can bend over and pocket-baggie the poo, seal and toss it in the trash can. In fact, I know of many Florida condos that fine residents hundreds of dollars a day if they don’t pick up their dog poo. It’s just your job, your doo doo duty, if you own a dog.

But to make this a city-wide ordinance, no way.

Here is NBC 5′s report on the meeting. Councilwoman Angela Hunt apparently likes the idea (surprise): “I think we do need enforcement, especially in some of our denser areas where you have a lot of folks living with dogs and, if they’re not picking up. It creates a problem.”

Yeah, but leave it up to the apartment or condo complexes, not the city. Plus this would add another cost to dog ownership, and it’s hard enough to make dog owners spay and neuter their pets, which is crucial to controlling the unwanted pet population.

But Poo Prints makes a great pitch. Each dog owner would pay $30 for a DNA sample, and then the city would pay $50 to test the DNA for a match. Poo Prints claims the city could more than recoup the $20 cost difference with fines — right. It’s illegal now not to pick up after your dog, but who the heck enforces that? What if you have to hire a collections firm to fetch the fine?

But can I buy stock in this company if this thing passes?

Cedric Moses with Poo Prints  said the DNA sampling of the turds helps pet owners find lost pets. Not sure I follow this, but it must have something to do with the DNA registry which can store all sorts of info on the pet, like owners, medical records, even I guess vaccine alerts. I have all my pets chipped, not sure I need further ID, thank you.

So what do you think… should we citizens of Dallas be forced to test our dog’s DNA so we can be fined if we fail to scoop our poop? How in the world are we going to explain that to newcomers: Welcome to Dallas, best real estate market in the country: no turds allowed!

I think it’s time to move to the country!

 

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. critic says

    Dearest Angela:
    I thought pothole repairs was a priority for this city
    It might be time for your to give your resignation and stay home and raise the children

  2. critic says

    Dearest Angela:
    I thought pothole repairs was a priority for this city
    It might be time for your to give your resignation and stay home and raise the children

  3. George Hunter says

    This is absurd and to think that the city would be willing to pay $50 to test every dogs business in order to fine people is even more absurd. This would be a waste of tax payers money. This city needs to focus on the real issues at hand and not be trying to find another way to fine its citizens.

  4. George Hunter says

    This is absurd and to think that the city would be willing to pay $50 to test every dogs business in order to fine people is even more absurd. This would be a waste of tax payers money. This city needs to focus on the real issues at hand and not be trying to find another way to fine its citizens.

  5. Grant says

    What a waste! While I think it's a good idea for apartment complexes and possibly those stingey HOA's, how will the SPCA be affected by this? What incentive is a prospected dog-owner going to have if they know they'll have to pay an additional $30 sample to adopt an abandoned pup?

  6. Grant says

    What a waste! While I think it's a good idea for apartment complexes and possibly those stingey HOA's, how will the SPCA be affected by this? What incentive is a prospected dog-owner going to have if they know they'll have to pay an additional $30 sample to adopt an abandoned pup?

  7. Allen says

    What if a groomer, dog walker, pet-sitter, concierge, or someone else is the one who didn't pick up after the dog? Is the owner fined? Doesn't sound very fair. WFAA said Ilume residents will be evicted if the sample comes back as their dog's. Sounds a bit extreme.

  8. Allen says

    What if a groomer, dog walker, pet-sitter, concierge, or someone else is the one who didn't pick up after the dog? Is the owner fined? Doesn't sound very fair. WFAA said Ilume residents will be evicted if the sample comes back as their dog's. Sounds a bit extreme.

  9. Brenda Claybrook says

    What idiocy! The City can't even get all pet owners to register their pets and provide proof of vaccination.

  10. Brenda Claybrook says

    What idiocy! The City can't even get all pet owners to register their pets and provide proof of vaccination.

  11. Thad says

    The ordinance still requires some fine tuning. For example, we'll need to get a reference stool sample from Angela to make sure no innocent dogs will be falsely charged.

  12. Thad says

    The ordinance still requires some fine tuning. For example, we'll need to get a reference stool sample from Angela to make sure no innocent dogs will be falsely charged.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I knew I’d like Angela Hunt. She took the time to write me that her quote made it sound like she was supporting Poo Prints, the dog-poo DNA program in effect at The Ilume and other Dallas apart… Here is another thing I like about Angela: she didn’t say “I was mis quoted”. […]

  2. […] I knew I’d like Angela Hunt. She took the time to write me that her quote made it sound like she was supporting Poo Prints, the dog-poo DNA program in effect at The Ilume and other Dallas apart… Here is another thing I like about Angela: she didn’t say “I was mis quoted”. […]

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