Doody Duty: London cops are DNA testing dog poop to track down lazy owners

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Is there anything worse than stepping in a hot pile of dog crap? It’s horrible. That awful squish under your shoe; the stench rising up into your nostrils; the futile attempts to wipe it off on the grass while your friends laugh at you — the whole experience is quite unpleasant. I think we can all agree that people who leave stray dog turds in public places are the scum of the Earth.

But there’s still hope. A small borough in London may have figured out a way to put an end to the puppy poo predicament once and for all. The borough of Barking and Dagenham (no joke!) has officially announced that it plans to partner with the U.S.-based company BioPet VetLab for a pilot project that requires all dog park users to submit DNA cheek swabs for their pets. Armed with this information, park wardens will then be able to test any stray turds they find. If the DNA of the abandoned doggy dumpling matches the a DNA sample in the database, the owner will be given an £80 fine (roughly $120).

Pretty brilliant, right? People would be far more likely to pick up after their pets if they knew that at team of CSIs (crap scene investigators) could hunt them down and fine them for being irresponsible. The program is currently in its pilot stage, so it’s only being rolled out at a couple parks right now — but if all goes well, by 2016 all 27 of the borough’s parks and open spaces could be patrolled for rogue doggie droppings.

There’s a chance that similar programs might start popping up in the U.S. as well. The company that does the DNA testing, BioPet Vet Lab, has been offering its services since 2010, and there are a handful of US cities who are warming up to the idea. Indiana’s Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Department recently announced that it may also start using the “PooPrint” system to deter dog owners from leaving messes behind.

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