Market Common uses DNA to catch doggie 'poopetrators'

Source: PooPrints
Source: PooPrints
Source: PooPrints
Source: PooPrints

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Get ready to toss out $500 if you're not willing to toss out your dog's waste.

Several residents in the Market Common community expressed concern when dog owners weren't cleaning up after their pooches.

Michael Hogan often walks his dog around The Market Common.

"It's got a path, a pond, it's a nice place to walk your dogs," Hogan said.

The Market Common is a popular place to walk dogs, but it's what dogs leave behind that is leaving a problem.

Pets were pooping around the property, but no one was cleaning up the mess.

Property owners were upset over other dog owners not picking up, but had no way to know who the culprit was.

Sara Kish often sees dog owners not picking up after their pet within the commons.

"I notice that other people don't pick it up because it's in their yard or close to their house but it still creates a smell," Kish said.

Dogs have accidents in elevators, hallways, and even on the rooftops and owners are not picking up after them.

Now, management requires every dog that stays in the apartments and hotel to give a DNA sample.

Using a company called PooPrints, the dog owner pays a $38 fee to have a cheek swab taken and put into a national database.

That way, if management finds any dog DNA piled up on the sidewalk, a sample can be sent off to the lab to trace it back and the owner will face a $500 fine.

Owners are split over the dog DNA decision.

"If I had to do it, I would do it. But it seems kind of ridiculous," Hogan said.

"Some may see it as a breach of privacy. But myself, I don't have a problem with it," Kish added.

Market Common management said that since the program started, the problem seems to have stopped, with less dog waste being left behind.

Once your dog is registered with the DNA database you also get a special tag for your pup so if they get lost the tag can be traced back to you, getting your dog back to you as well.

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