Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Condo Managers Testing Dog Poop DNA to Sniff Out Bad Owners

Have you ever stepped in a canine mudslide and had wild flights of fancy en-tail-ing dog poop DNA testing to figure out who the lazy good-for-nothing owner is? Well, a New Jersey condo complex is actually hatching your stinky "C.S.I." plot.

The Grande at Riverdale, a complex of eight four-story buildings, informed residents their dogs' mouths will be swabbed for DNA. Any dog poop found "loitering" on the property will be tested in order to fine the owners.

The first poopy offense will cost $250 and subsequent poopy fines will rise as high as $1,000.

Dog Poop DNA Testing

As it turns out, dog poop DNA testing is a real thing. Seriously. Google "dog poop DNA swabbing" and you'll come up with a garden variety of vindictive real estate management companies on the warpath of abandoned puppy poop.

The New Jersey condo complex will use the increasingly po(o)pular Tennessee-based DNA-matching service PooPrints to track down offenders, reports New York's WCBS-TV. Dog owners face a $100 fine if they don't have their pets tested by November 1.

PooPrints boasts a booming (likely well-fertilized) business, with clients in Massachusetts, Texas, and beyond.

Aside from property managers, dog poop DNA testing has been used for more serious cases. For example, at the University of California at Davis' Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, scientists test animal feces to collect forensic shoe scraping evidence that can help establish whether a suspect was present at the scene of the crime.

As Johnnie Cochran (never) said, "If the poop print's a fit, you must convict."

Poopy Premises Liability

Apart from the unfortunate experience of a canine slip 'n slide, stepping on a poop patty could also pose potential liability issues for the property management company.

For example, PetSmart had to settle with one patron who met with an accident after meeting with an accident... The poop hit the fan when the feces hit the floor: The customer threw his back out after slipping on the dog poop and even needed back surgery.

In this case, if anyone were to slip and fall on the dog dung and sustain an injury, the management could be on the hook under a premises liability theory.

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