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Boulder might look into doggie DNA database to clean up waste

(Credit: MGN Online)

(Credit: MGN Online)

BOULDER, Colo. — In an attempt to clean up its growing dog waste problem, a Boulder City Council member has asked the city’s parks department to determine if a database of DNA can be collected to track down scofflaws who don’t pick up after their pooch.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported Councilwoman Mary Young posted a note to the council’s “Hotline” email list, saying a resident made the suggestion of whether DNA samples could be used for later comparison on waste found on Boulder’s open space. Young has asked Open Space and Mountain Parks for a report on the feasibility at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The Camera reported BioPet Vet Lab of Knoxville, Tenn., offers a PooPrint service that uses DNA in such situations for private property managers. The company claims waste usually drops by 90 percent.

Eric Mayer, director of business development for BioPet Vet Lab, says the company doesn’t have any contracts yet with cities but is in talks with a handful of them.

He said the costs for the initial DNA swab is $30 to $50, then testing of a sample of waste against DNA in the database is $60 to $75.

“You’re not going to be spending much money on waste samples because they should be picked up by the owner,” Mayer told the Camera.

But Boulder resident Patrick Murphy, who has long fought dog waste in the city’s open space, pooh-poohed the suggestion, saying more rangers are needed instead.

“Who is going to agree to let you get DNA from their dog?” he told the Camera. “It’s a ploy to say they’re crazy and extreme, which makes the other thing — the real voice and sight control — also seem crazy and extreme.”