More Charlotte apartment complexes test unscooped dog poop to track down pet owners

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More Charlotte apartment complexes are using science to crack down on dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

They’re using DNA to match unscooped waste with the dog that left it and then they fine the owner.

Legacy Ballantyne is the latest example. The complex sent renters a notice which said they need to "stop by the office so that we can swab your dog's cheek to get the DNA."

When the complex finds dog poop that hasn't been cleaned up, it can send it to a lab. The lab will match it to the correct dog and the complex will bill the owner $250.

"Oh, it's a big talker," one resident said.

"I thought it was kind of weird," another told Action 9.

"I suppose it's a good idea," another said.

"My first thought, I thought it was a little extreme," a fourth said. "I understand why they're doing it.  They're trying to solve a problem, an issue, so that's there's not any issues with the community, which I completely support."

Legacy said, "This program will allow us to continue to be pet-friendly because we'll be keeping the grounds clean and sanitary."

Managers wouldn't go on-camera, but referred Action 9 to the Tennessee lab it's working with, BioPet Laboratories.

"We literally had a scientist, she was living in a complex, saw poop everywhere and thought, 'You know, there’s got to be a way we can figure out whose poop this is,’" CEO J Retinger said.  "So, today, across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., we've got over 3,000 properties using the program."  He said more than 60 are in the Charlotte area.

The Greater Charlotte Apartment Association told Action 9, "Most of the new constructions are choosing this method."

Action 9 asked Retinger if these apartment complexes "are going overboard with this?  Is this too much accountability?"  "We don't think so," Retinger replied.  "We try education, we try different methods, but sometimes, there has to be an enforcement put in place to just make sure people abide.”

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