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N.J. Condo Complex Testing Dog Poop DNA To Track Down Owners Who Don’t Pick Up

Residents' Dogs Will Be Swabbed To Help Condo Track Down Culprits

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RIVERDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Pooper scooper laws and fines have been in effect for several years, but one New Jersey community has taken it a step further with mandatory DNA testing for your dog.

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported Monday, The Grande condominium complex at Riverdale has told residents their dogs’ mouths will be swabbed for DNA and any droppings found on the property will be tested in order to fine the owners.

Bill Mirrer walks his dog, Murphy, five times a day and says he always cleans up after him. But he is now required to pay for the DNA testing to crack down on dog owners who do not follow the rules, and he is not thrilled about it.

“DNA testing on dogs to see who went where or what, I think is ridiculous,” he said. “I really do.”

Management at The Grande complex declined to comment. But they informed hundreds of residents with registered dogs of the new policy in a letter, telling them to bring in their pooches for a saliva swab.

“It’s worth it, keeping everything clean,” said dog walker Stacy Gorstein.

Gorstein said she religiously cleans up after her four-legged clients. But the pressure is on now that DNA is involved.

“There’s going to be traces,” she said, “but I’m going to assume they’re looking for a bigger part of it.”

The first offense for those who fail to clean up after their dogs will cost $250. A second offense will result in a ticket for $500, and anything after that will cost $1,000.

Resident Lucy LaMartine feels it is a bit of a stretch to do DNA testing on pets, but she said she has had her share of stepping in dog feces.

“It is a shame they have to go to those steps to enforce a courtesy rule; environment rule; healthy rule,” LaMartine said. “I’ve never heard of it before anywhere. I’ve had animals all of my life.”

Residents who fail to bring their dogs in for testing by Nov. 1 will face another fine of $100.

Testing begins this Saturday. In the letter, management cited a small percentage of residents who are not doing their “doo” diligence.

The condo complex of eight four-story buildings will use the Tennessee-based DNA-matching service PooPrints to track down offenders.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)