Seminole County apartment complex uses doggie DNA to track pet waste pickup

SANFORD, Fla. — DNA tests can reunite long-lost relatives, solve cold cases and now match you to your dog’s waste.

A new Sanford apartment complex is using doggie DNA to hold pet owners accountable for picking up after their dogs.

Pet owners who move into Lake Monroe Apartments are required to swab their dog’s cheek and submit its DNA sample.

Property manager Ashley Fink said that sample will be added to a “Poo Print” database that can be searched to match waste that’s not picked up to the pet it came from.

"Maintenance just takes a nickel size of the pet waste, they give it to us and then we send it off to our lab," Fink said. "We can then find out who the owner is."

It takes about 7-10 days to get the results.

Then, she said, that pet’s owner can be subject to a $150 fine.

Pet owners have to pay a one-time, $250 pet fee upon moving in plus an additional $50 for the DNA testing, which covers the cost of the kit and lab work.

Local residents reported mixed opinions on the program.

Sanford resident Judy Sarullo said it sounded like a great idea.

Dog owner Steve Pace said it sounds a little hardcore.

"If it happened one time, you probably wouldn't forget it next time,” dog owner Garry Conway said with a laugh.

The apartment complex said if the owner is caught a second time not picking up, they will be fined another $150.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.