Dogs are one of the most common pets in the world – in fact the second most popular pet after cats. The UK’s 9 million dogs produce over 1,000 tonnes of waste each day – luckily not all of it is left on the parks and roads around the country but some of it is and the problem of dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs is ever present! Given the issues with dog mess, it should not come as a surprise that there is a legal and moral obligation to clean up after our dogs if it poops in a public park, schools, or any shared common area where the mess could cause a problem for others.
Dog poop DNA testing
In the past, methods have been put in place to deter dog owners from leaving their dog droppings such as fines, and posted notices. These methods have not always proved to be successful, but luckily there is a new solution out there.
The only scientific way that will help track the irresponsible dog owner is a dog poop DNA test. This test is a powerful law enforcement tool that can help eradicate the problem in your neighbourhood.
The testing process
The testing process is very simple. First, a DNA database needs to be put together of all of the dogs in the area. A DNA database is compiled by getting all of the dog owners in the area to submit a sample of their dog’s DNA. Sample collection is by means of mouth swabs. We will provide the required number of kits depending on the number of dogs that need to be sampled. These swabs are meant to be used by the dog owner to swab the inside cheek of their dog. Once the swabs are returned to the testing laboratory, a DNA profile will be extracted from each swab and registered in the database. This profile will be unique to every dog and will be an accurate way of identifying the dog.
Dog poop collection
Once dog droppings are found, the process to identify the dog and owner are put into motion. A kit will be provided to collect the offending mess. Included in the kit is a form that will allow the person who found the poop to list all necessary information such as:
- Where the poop was found.
- Time and day it was found.
- Any other relevant notes or information.
After the form is filled out use the provided spatula to lift the poop from the ground and place it in the provided bottle.
Tips on how to collect dog poo
The best possible place to get a sample is from the underside of the droppings. This is because the DNA is better preserved on the underside than the sides that have been more directly exposed to the elements.
Once collected, the droppings need to be shipped to the lab where they will test the poop and extract a DNA profile. Once we have the profile extracted from the poop, we can compare it to the dog profiles in the database. If two profiles match, then we have the culprit.
With the evidence in hand, action be taken and the person responsible can be fined, and in most cases, pay for the cost of the DNA testing.
It is important to remember that this test is meant for local police departments, businesses, and community groups. It is not available for private use between feuding neighbours or the like.