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City considers hiring company to track ‘poo-petrators’

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – If you fail to clean up after Fido at Carmel-Clay Park’s new Bark Park opening this summer, you could be in the doghouse.

The city is considering hiring a company called PooPrints that could take a small sample of the dog’s waste and track it back to the dog owner.

“We can match the mess” explains Eric Mayer, the director of business development and BioTech Vet Lab and one of the PooPrints inventors. “Or discover the poo-pertrators as we like to call them, between the waste that is left behind and the dog owner who did not scoop up that dog waste.”

“It’s like you see on TV,” explains Linda Dulin.

Dulin lives at an apartment complex in downtown Indianapolis where they already use PooPrints.

“They stick a cotton swab in the dog’s mouth and move it around a little bit,” she said.

The pooch is then added to the PooPrints database. If the dog’s mess shows up in an analysis of a DNA sample, the owner will get a notice and a bill in the mail.

“Dog waste is full of bacteria,” says Mayer, “and it’s different bacteria than you get in wild animals and there’s more of it. So it’s does more harm to the environment than most people think.”

Carmel has not hired PooPrints at this time, but they will be discussing the matter with a committee in the spring.

“While we thought, at first, this is pretty ridiculous and over the top, after you think about it it almost makes sense in the standpoint that if you’re going to invoke something like that, do it before you open the dog park,” says Mark Westermeier, director of the Carmel-Clay Parks. “There have been people who think that it’s going to raise taxes or it’s a waste of taxpayer money, but it’s really not because there is a cost to picking up dog poop around all different parks and public areas.”

According to Mayer, the fee for a dog cheek swab ranges between $35 to 60 and the per-waste sample testing ranges between $75-100. Westermeier says they haven’t discussed how those fees would be assessed if they did hire PooPrints to cover the bark parks.

At Axis apartments, property manager Leah Downie says they have had an overwhelmingly positive response. The residents that have pets pay a monthly fee for pet rent of $20 and a no refundable one time fee of $250 to have pets on property. That includes the cost of PooPrints.