Apartments everywhere have to deal with dog waste and pet owners who refuse to pick it up. Now, some complexes in Dallas are taking a different tact; they are requiring owners to give up their DNA so they can track their careless owners and are tacking on fines for piles of doggie waste left behind.
Chapparal Creek in Las Colinas is one of hundreds of apartment complexes with a poop problem. But resident Brian Barcus has a problem with their solution. Barcus received a letter explaining a new program being implemented at the complex and at dozens of complexes across Dallas. Dogs like Barcus’s Yorkie, Brooklyn, must now give up a DNA sample for the apartment complex to keep on file.
“If they are going to tell me I have to do something that wasn’t in the lease, it’s my turn to say tough luck,” said Barcus.
Cedric Moses is the CEO of a company called PooPrints, which is responsible for the program. He said he has several clients that are making it part of their mandated process. When the complex finds dog waste, they pick it up and send it to PooPrints. Moses’ company then determines which dog was responsible.
“It’s very accurate. It’s 99.9 percent accurate,” said Moses.
The owner will then face a fine. If they refuse to pay or refuse to submit their dog’s DNA, they risk termination of their lease. Attorneys said changes to existing leases are hard to enforce, but it is not impossible.
"And I believe a landlord may have a plausible argument that if it's a risk or a concern to other tenants' safety, then they may need to regulate this sort of issue via the agreement with their tenant," attorney Shonn Brown said.
Just the threat of a fine often leads to cleaner grounds, said Moses.
Local 2’s Amy Davis checked with the Houston Apartment Association. They said they are not aware of any complexes in the Houston area picking up the new policy.