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Grand Rapids apartment complex uses DNA technology to manage dog droppings

Apr 7, 2016

A high-end apartment community near Grand Rapids plans to use DNA technology as a way to sniff out dog owners who fail to pick up their pets' feces.

New technology is keeping the dog owners of one Grand Rapids apartment complex more honest
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Ridges of Cascade complex in Cascade Township is building a DNA database that will allow it to identify residents who ignore the clean-up policy. The complex has contracted with the company PooPrints to collect DNA samples of each dog in the development.

PooPrints is a waste-management program that matches unscooped waste to the canine offender through DNA tracking. Properties using the program reported up to a 95% reduction in waste. 

According to a report by the Grand Rapids news station WoodTV.com, the residents were given kits and were asked to swab the inside of their dogs' mouths. 

Jim Harger of MLive spoke to the assistant property manager of the apartment complex, Anna Holmes, about the complex's decision to implement this new age technology: 

"It's kind of a bit of foreshadowing on how we can keep the grounds free and clear of dog waste going forward," she said. "We just want to curb bad habits that can form."

According to Holmes, the Ridges of Cascade has welcomed pets, provided their owners register them for a $250 fee and a $30-per-month rental fee. Holmes also estimated that about 60% of the complex's residents own a pet.

If feces are found on the grounds, a sample will be sent to PooPrints, where it will be matched to the offending dog and owner. The found violators will then face a $350 fine.

MLive published this video of their conversation with Holmes about the changes at the Grand Rapids apartment complex: