Is Dog Poop DNA Test Legal?

This isn’t only an unpleasant matter, but it’s also a prickly one. People have ceaselessly generated heated debate around it, “Should dog poop DNA testing be even done? Does it clash against animal rights?”

Most importantly, “Is dog poop DNA test even legal?”

Luckily for you, we’re here to explore just that. Read on for some more interesting details.

What’s a Dog Poop DNA Test?

In our modern-day and age, technological applications have advanced beyond imagination. A dog poop DNA test is a perfect example of that.

Wondering what that exactly is? You can guess by the name. This is a DNA test. However, it’s not one for you. It’s for your dog.

Almost 40 percent of dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs. Using a dog poop DNA test, you can trace back the crime to its perpetrator.

All perpetrators are held accountable. Unfortunately, even adorable little dogs. If your dog matched the DNA results, then you might have to pay a fee.

As unbelievable as it seems, this form of waste management is a very present phenomenon. So it’s not only a real business but also a lucrative one. In fact, one dog waste management made $7 million in 2018. This Tennessee-based company is called PooPrint.

PooPrint sells testing kits that range from $40 to $60. Then, there’s also the additional kits, which sell for about $15. In PooPrint-affiliated apartment complexes, there’s a necessary measure if you’re a dog owner; you need to have your dog’s DNA entered into a genetic database.

If a sample is traced to your dog, then you should expect a fine. That’s your first chance, though. If poop belonging to your dog is found lying around again, you might get evicted.

How Does It Work?

Nowadays, a lot of private residences are affiliated with waste management companies. When you move into such residences, your dog’s cheek has to be swabbed. Later, this DNA sample is included in the national pet registry.

Now, imagine for a second that your dog pooped somewhere inside your apartment complex. You don’t pick the poop up. Instead, you ignore it. When this is found, a sample of it is usually sent to the company’s lab.

It’s probably not very pleasant for the mailman, is it? But it might not be very pleasant for you either. Because here’s what happens, when it gets to the lab, the sample is run through the DNA database. If it finds a match, the result is then sent to the landlord. They can now demand a hefty fine from you, the dog owner.

Is a Dog Poop DNA Test Legal?

Here’s where the heated debate begins. Is DNA testing of dog poop legal?

To put it shortly, yes. Dog poop DNA testing is entirely legal in the US.

Yet, that doesn’t stop people from furiously objecting to it. Most say it’s too intrusive and extreme. Others say that dogs shouldn’t be held responsible for such acts since they’re sometimes left for hours on their own.

But do these DNA tests stand against animal rights? Technically, dogs aren’t exactly protected by the Constitution. In the eyes of the law, your dog is as much of a property as your couch is.

Moreover, enforcing waste management isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. In 1978, New York City enacted the Canine Waste Law. Right now, such violations are punished by a $250 fine.

Most private property owners try to implement similar laws. By enlisting the help of waste management companies, catching the culprit simply becomes a lot easier.

How Accurate Is a Dog Poop DNA Test?

With such tests working to eliminate dog poop everywhere, an important question remains. How accurate are those tests, anyway?

Let’s take a moment to examine this. PooPrint employs the use of 16 genetic markers to get a correct match. It’s believed to be so accurate that the chance of another dog possessing the same genetic profile is one in 44 sextillions. That’s an incredibly small probability.

In general, DNA tests aren’t 99.9% accurate. This isn’t to say they aren’t often correct. It’s just that DNA tests are based on probability rather than accuracy.

To be more specific, DNA tests are based on Random Match Probability. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s basically the possibility that another dog could strike a match with the poop sample.

With more matching markers and more variants, this possibility decreases. In that case, the likelihood that another dog can get a match can be billions (or even trillions) to one.

That doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible for another dog to get a genetic match. However, the chance is extremely minuscule. It’s even impossible if the two dogs live within the same vicinity.

Why Are Dog Poop DNA Tests Enforced?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), leaving dog poop unattended can lead to harmful effects. When animal waste decomposes in water, it can release nutrients and pathogens.

Those releases can cause unrestrained weed and algae growth, which turns water green. All of this renders the water unsafe for both swimming and fishing.

So, it’s not only icky to step in. Dog poop is also often a carrier of parasites and diseases. These parasites and diseases range from tapeworm to salmonella. While not directly harmful to humans, these diseases could harm other animals.

Moreover, disease-free dog poop isn’t even completely safe. Rainwater can wash it down into storm drains. These drains go on to pour out into the waterways with no treatment. In turn, the quality of water significantly decreases.

Conclusion

While completely legal, dog poop DNA testing is a highly debated matter. Is it too intrusive? After all, it might be a nuisance, but is dog poop too unsafe?

Most private property owners (and residents) just want a clean residence. It’s hard to get people to fall in line without stern rules. So no matter what you think about dog poop DNA testing, you can’t deny the fact that it works.