Too much poop: Dogs to be DNA tested in the Flats

Ronnie Rodgers

There is a lot of dog poop at the Flats — so much dog poop that residents will be required to bring in their dogs to have DNA collected. This policy will go into effect starting fall 2016 in an effort to reduce the amount of dog poop at the apartment complex.

Many owners allow their dogs to poop outside and do not clean up after them. In an effort to keep the Flats cleaner and tidier, dog owners will have to pay $50 to have the dog’s mouth swabbed for DNA, in addition to the $400 pet fee. After the sample is collected it will be sent to third party collection agency, Mr. Dog Poop Inc., to be stored.  

The Flats is implementing a new policy in an effort to reduce the amount of dog poop in the area. Photo by Ronnie Rogers
The Flats is implementing a new policy in an effort to reduce the amount of dog poop in the area. Photo by Ronnie Rogers

Robert “Bob” Boyle, Director of Housing and Residence Life, said the new policy is an effort to hold dog owners more accountable for their pet’s actions. If feces is found it will be collected and sent to Mr. Dog Poop Inc. in an effort to identify the dog and, by extension, the owner.

As of now, the consequences for residents who do not pick up after their dogs have not been set. Housing and Residence Life is still working through the issue internally to determine a conduct process, according to Boyle.

“What we’re trying to do is keep the property as neat and tidy as possible, and also healthier,” Boyle said. “We’ve got to do something to hold students a little better accountable for that component of what we expect them to do, which is essentially cleaning up after their dog.”

The scope of the issue may not be visible to those just driving past, but walking further back in the complex reveals dog poop in many of the grassy areas.

Gracie Steiger, senior in business administration, said there is a reason there is so much dog poop in the Flats.

“No one walks their dogs inside of the lake [where the trash bins are], everyone walks them on the sidewalks,” she said.

When asked for her opinion on the new policy, Steiger said that she thinks it would be effective, but expressed some concerns.

“I think that it’s a little invasive because instead of trying to put the dog poop bags somewhere else besides all the way near the lake, they haven’t even tried that first. Like moving them closer to where people walk their dog,” Steiger said.

To make throwing away dog poop easier the university will also be adding more dog waste receptacles and bags, according to Boyle.

The Flats is the only residence hall that allows cats and dogs.

 

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