In Naples DNA Tests Link Dog ‘Waste’ to Owners

Mar 1, 2014 5:52pm
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Dogs in Naples, Italy are causing problems by leaving behind too much "waste." (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Instead of exclaiming “cane cattive!” (or “bad dog!”) every time they step in errant dog “waste,” officials in Naples, Italy, have a more scientific way to handle the problem.

Officials have been testing specimens left behind by dogs and careless owners for DNA, according to a report in the New York Times. The plan is eventually there will be a database of all city dogs, so any unwanted “waste” left on the sidewalk will be connected to the guilty dog and their owner.

The owner will then be fined 500 euros or approximately $685. Naples officials say that dog waste has become enough of a problem to warrant this high-tech intervention, although they acknowledge it’s unusual.

“I know some people find it funny that with all the problems the city has, we would focus on dog poop,” Tommaso Sodano, the vice mayor of Naples told the New York Times. “I know that.”

In the U.S., the unlikely practice has already been enforced by some strict apartment complexes and condos.

“It’s messy and it smells,” Deborah Violette, manager of the Timberwood Commons apartment complex in Lebanon, N.H., told ABC News in an earlier interview. “It’s not acceptable.”

In those cases any dogs on the premises are swabbed for DNA through a special service and if there is any offending waste found, a sample is shipped off to the lab for testing. The tests allow frustrated condo owners a way to identify any culprits who have refused to do their share of scooping.

DNA Scoops Owners Who Don’t Pick Up After their Dogs

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