Condo uses dog DNA to catch poop offenders

6:04 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- A dog dropping problem has gotten so bad at one Alexandria area condo that they've called in dog DNA detectives to fix the poopy problem.

A little CSI has gone to the dogs.

Joseph Gillmer, with the condo's board of directors said, "We've got a problem."

At the Midtown Alexandria Station Condos, residents complain of dog droppings outside, in the parking garage, elevators and on the carpet.

Gillmer said, "Awful thing. Who does that?"

The property management and the board of directors say they've done what they can.  They've sent polite letters telling people to pick up after their dogs. They say surveillance cameras can't be at every corner or they could pay upwards of 40k to install more cameras.  So that's why they've turned to doggie DNA testing.

After a couple of swabs, the doggie paw print is entered into a database.  A waste sample then gets run through the database to find a match.

Dog owner Jeff McKeever said, "It seems like an extreme measure. A lot of my neighbors seem to feel the same way. It's a big waste of money."

Gillmer said, "So it comes out to $3 a unit."

Ken Lo, another dog owner, said, "It may be 3 dollars a unit but we have 360 units here. That's a lot of money to try to enforce something that probably costs $5 to clean up."

Dog DNA crusader and Condo Association Board Member Joseph Gillmer says it would be cost prohibitive if they tested the droppings in the common grounds outside.   He says the DNA deterrent is mainly to catch indoor offenders

Gillmer said, "We're trying to pinpoint 1 or 2 people causing the issue not the 68 who are responsible dog owners."

Pete LaLena, a resident says, "I'm opposed to the condo association paying for DNA testing, I think the dog owner should have to pay for it, but if this is a way to get 100% compliance I'm all for it."

Residents have about a week to get their dogs swabbed or else they'll be responsible for the $35 fee. It's $75 to test Fido's feces.

First offense is roughly $125 plus cleanup, by the 3rd strike you and man's best friend could be kicked out. 


Other condo communities in our area have hired doggie DNA detectives.  The Chantilly Park Condos say they had a horrible waste problem and after a year they have near 100% compliance.
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