No matter which neighborhood you frequent, it’s not uncommon to see signs reminding residents to curb their dog. Animal loving city dwellers can attest to the never ending mission to ensure that your pet goes to the bathroom outside. Although most pet owners can be held accountable for bringing a bag and cleaning up the mess, some are simply not as responsible. One Brooklyn condominium building is tackling this issue head on as they require residents to submit their dogs DNA to their database in order to issue fines.
The building, aptly named One Brooklyn Bridge Park, is home to hundreds of Brooklyn’s elite as the average condo has a asking price of at least $900,000. Amid the expansive views and gorgeous flooring, about 175 dogs also call this building home. The New York Times reports that the residents started to become careless when it came to pet waste and proper disposal. During the winter months there were reports that residents were allowing their dogs to relieve themselves in empty corridors and stairwells. It seemed that residents were more comfortable leaving the mess for a building attendant rather than facing frigid temperatures by taking the dog outside.
While it may not sound like a big deal to the residents, building management started calculating the damage and factoring in the time spent to clean. During the month of December in 2014, there were over 50 reported occurrences of feces, urine, vomit and other foul smelling messes around the building. Depending on the size of the mess, staff members often spent close to an hour cleaning up these occurrences. Not only did the staff have to clean but they also had to maintain the quality of the building, ensuring that it didn’t smell or scare potential tenants away. Management then factored in the cost of the cleaning supplies and materials that were used before deciding that something had to be done.
The solution was based around a company called PooPrints. This imaginative group of professionals works with thousands of expensive condominium buildings as they extract D.N.A. from feces samples in order to determine which dog made the mess. Brooklyn Bridge Park began requiring their residents to register their dog’s D.N.A. in order to be able to track the culprit with a new level of accuracy. The system is no joke to the residents could face a $250 fine if their pooch leaves evidence behind.
Although most residents complied with the registration system, there were still some unruly opinions on the new process. Some argued that the dog’s couldn’t consent to the testing, which resulted in a poorly circulated petition. Most of the serious complaints were focused on the cost of the registration process. In order to have your dog’s D.N.A. tested and registered into the system, each resident had to pay $75. After a hefty amount of complaints, the registration fee was reduced to $35.
Since the registration took effect, 7 dogs have been matched to waste found in and around the building. In a world where technology is fueling efficiency and data is being collected every minute of every day, residents can’t help but feel like Big Brother is keeping an eye on them and their furry companions.