WSVN — Dog owners are passionate about their pets, but no one likes stepping in what our furry friends leave behind. Now one South Florida condo is taking action against owners who don’t clean up after their dogs. 7’s Belkys Nerey shows us how they are getting the scoop on careless owners.
At the Yacht Club at Portofino on South Beach, residents feel like they’ve stepped into paradise. The water, the boats, the palm trees…
Roger Vandyke, resident: "It’s a great place just to enjoy life."
But there’s one thing they don’t enjoy stepping in…
Cid Gonzalez, resident: "You come home from work, get out your car and there it is."
Dog poop… and lots of it.
Roger Vandyke, resident: "What we were seeing is dogs defecating in the hallways, we saw dogs defecating in the elevators, we saw issues in the garage."
Like many South Florida condo buildings, this luxury high rise is pet friendly.
Ron Ben-David, general manager at the Yacht Club at Portofino: "Our residents are permitted to have two pets up to 50 pounds."
But when manager Ron Ben-David came on board, he says it wasn’t pretty.
Ron Ben-David: "The hallways here, forgive me for being blunt, were atrocious."
Roger Vandyke has no problem cleaning up after his dog Wiley.
Roger Vandyke: "You can’t blame the animals, the dogs, it’s the owner’s responsibility."
But the problem has been tracking down those owners.
Roger Vandyke: "We don’t have cameras in the hallways for privacy reasons."
The condo board heard about a company using science to solve the unsanitary problem.
Ron Ben-David: "You’re going to get dog DNA and find out who did what? Where?"
The program is called PooPrints. Here’s how it works: the pet owner registers their dog and provides a DNA sample.
Ron Ben-David: "They take a Q-tip swab, they put it on the dog’s cheek, they put it in an envelope, they mail it. You’re done."
The DNA is sent to a lab in Tennessee, where it goes into a national database. Then, if a pile is found on the property, an incident report is written up and the evidence is gathered.
Ron Ben-David: "They take a smidgeon piece of the waste, throw it in here and once again good old Tennessee gets it."
The sample is tested and in about a week, the results are sent back. The canine culprit’s owner is caught and has to pay a fine.
Ron Ben-David: "It’s undeniable."
There’s no more guessing or speculation.
Ron Ben-David: "Prior to PooPrints it was like a wild goose chase."
Each pup wears a green tag with their ID number on it to prove they’ve been tested. Since starting the program, the poop problem has virtually disappeared.
Cid Gonzalez: "My feet are clean."
Leaving residents at this condo free to walk where they want without worry.
Cid Gonzalez: "It’s good for everybody, it’s good for the environment, it’s good for the pet owner and it makes the place you live more valuable."
PooPrints processes about 1,000 waste samples a month! And they say most buildings see an improvement rate of 95 percent. In the Plex, Belkys Nerey, 7News.
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