Tips&TricksCleaning up the mess: how DNA tracking is putting an end to carefree dog owners

Cleaning up the mess: how DNA tracking is putting an end to carefree dog owners

Not cleaning up after your dog is punishable.
Not cleaning up after your dog is punishable.
Images source: © Getty Images | Petko Ninov
3:05 AM EST, February 1, 2024

Dog-friendly areas remain scarce in urban spaces, which means many of these four-legged friends get confined to the park, many of whom treat it as their default public toilets. The law dictates punishments for those who do not clean up after their dogs, but it becomes challenging to identify the culprits without catching someone in the act. Interestingly, a clever solution that is showing promising results in countries like Italy involves police tracing the mess back to the owner using the poop from the dog. It may sound bizarre, but this method is really functional!

Penalties for not cleaning up after your dog

According to Article 4 of the law passed in September 1996, every dog owner is legally bound to clean up after their pet in public areas. Ignoring such rules could mean a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine amounting to 500 zloty [$120]! The law does allow for two exceptions, being dogs owned by the disabled and those serving on specific grounds. Yet, identifying and penalizing those who disregard this statute can be tough. It's challenging to catch somebody red-handed, and unfounded accusations can cause unnecessary disputes. Fortunately, measures are being taken to rectify this situation soon.

For some time, Italy has adopted a policy requiring mandatory DNA registration for every dog. Any owner who fails to comply with this rule faces a hefty fine of 1048 euros [$1184]. This strategy is an active effort to tackle the abundance of dog poop that inevitably affects the quality of life for city residents. Once having tested the waste, it becomes quite a straightforward task to identify the registered dog's owner in question. The penalty ought to make dog owners think twice before neglecting their duty to clean up. This innovative project is currently operational in France, Spain, the UK, and Israel and Poland is next in line!

Convenient tools to help efficiently dispose of pet waste

Luckily for dog owners, several practical devices can help manage dog waste. One such tool is a container for disposable bags that attaches to the leash. This ensures the dog owner always has a bag on hand while walking their pet. Another larger device is designed to collect dog waste, and it is particularly useful for those who find physically picking up the waste repulsive. Structured like a pair of tongs, this device can pick up everything from the ground in one swift motion. The waste is then transferred into a bag and disposed of in the nearest bin. You can get this convenient gadget for a few dozen zloty [$9-14] on online marketplaces. It's certainly worthwhile investing in these tools to keep our city clean and inviting for all residents.

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