Luxury West Loop Building Uses DNA Testing To Catch Tenants Who Don't Pick Up After Dogs
By Sophie Lucido Johnson in News on Mar 24, 2016 4:32PM
File under: totally logical use of resources. The Luxe, a West Loop rental apartment building, is using DNA testing to finally do what no one has been able to do before: determine, without a shadow of a doubt, who pooped.
Residents in the building were required earlier this year to submit their dogs to a cheek swab so the owners of the building could set up a comprehensive DNA dog database. Rogue poops will no longer be pardoned: Positive DNA matches will result in fines and possible eviction. According to the Tribune, Greystar (the management company for the Luxe) sent a letter to its residents in December stating, "We try to manage this problem as best we can; however, as this issue has continued to affect our community, we are now forced to implement the Pet DNA program."
Here's how the system works. When a problematic poop is discovered, someone (presumably wearing CSI-style rubber gloves) carefully removes it and mails it (yes, mails it) to Tennessee, where it is tested for identification. The first offense will cost dogs (and their owners) $250; each subsequent offense is $350. Costs to human dignity are not specified.
If you're wondering whether there is a company in Tennessee that exists for the sole purpose of prosecuting vulgar pooches, the answer is that yes, there is. The company is called PooPrints, and their website claims that they serve more than 2,000 properties in the US, Canada, and England. That means that there are more than 2,000 people worldwide (at least!) who choose to spend their money (it's about $100 per sample) to send fecal matter in the mail in order to accurately shame dogs. The future is now—though Chicago is predictably a few years behind New York on this one. A Long Island apartment building enlisted PooPrints back in 2011 for this very purpose.
Laugh all you want, but PooPrints representative Ernie Jones told the Tribune that most clients report a 95 to 99 percent reduction in dog waste after implementing the program. So if poop is your problem, this is a possible proven solution. On the other hand, if property owners really want to prevent bodily waste in off-limits areas, they should probably have the human residents submit cheek swabs too. People do some crazy things when they're really drunk, and dogs make excellent scapegoats.