Ridding the Streets of Dog Poop, One DNA Test at a Time


It’s been quite a while since we proposed a novel solution for ridding our cities of dog poop — DNA registration of pets, and subsequent DNA identification of wayward dung — but it seems to be slowly, slowly gaining acceptance. The Israeli city Petah Tikvah gave it a try, and now the New York Post reports (and Gothamist follows) about an apartment complex in Rockville Center, Long Island, that’s using the DNA method to punish owners who don’t pick up after their dogs. Good to see the power of poop still rolling on.

Ted Pavlic

Hm. For more information, see the NPR story from last month...


The story is credited to AP there, but it has certainly been a recurring story on NPR programs:

Morning Edition (2005): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4738396

Morning Edition (2008): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94699120

And I know I heard about the condo association that was the subject of that NPR-via-AP story above on ATC one evening, but I cannot find the story.

Ted Pavlic

Sorry -- the story I was thinking of was actually from November 2010 on This American Life (PRI):


It's in the segment "Witness for the Poo-secution".


Seems about on the level of swatting flies with a sledgehammer.


Will they do the same for cats in sandboxes and children's playgrounds?

While unsightly, leaving dog poop on grass is far less of a health hazard than the cats running wild and using playground sand and/or pea gravel as a litterbox.

Simone Brunozzi

From what I know, Berlin has already adopted a DNA-tracking system for dogs.

Some Scientist

Even if you conscientiously pick up after your dog, there's always going to be the 0.5% that stays on the ground. In a high dog traffic area, some of this 0.5% could easily end up in another sample that goes off to the lab. If the 0.5% dog is in the database and the dog that made the rest of the sample isn't, there's a lot of potential for false accusations.

Mike B

The best way to fight this sort of Big Brother surveillance is to just start planting dog shit from other people's dogs around. After enough people get stung by false accusations the process will quickly be dropped. This sort of crap (pun intended) is just as bad as fingering file sharers via IP address.


what is the company's name? this article is lame attempt at content with little depth.


Sounds like that would be expensive, the fine would have to be equally high. I wonder how long it would take for the results to get back. Check out our Dog site at http://www.bobbisgermanshepherds.com/