Breckenridge weighs dna testing dog poop after complaints pile up steamboattoday.com data recovery druid

Call it CSI for canines. Call it a new low in personal responsibility. However you look at it, DNA tests aren’t just for cracking high-profile crimes anymore.

Facing a longstanding problem of pet-owners either failing or refusing to clean up after their companions, breckenridge town staff are seriously considering DNA testing more than 50 dogs living in town-owned apartments.

“we have and continue to explore the DNA-identification option,” said laurie best, a senior planner with the town who informed council last week that forensic testing for dogs and their feces isn’t a far-fetched idea.

“in other communities where this service is available, we believe it is shown to be a very effective deterrent,” she explained in a follow-up email, referencing places like aspen and denver, where implementation of such programs has been credited with cutting into the poop problem.Apartment complex


At the request of the summit daily, best checked in on the number of complaints the town has received regarding dog droppings at those apartment complexes. Three responded by monday afternoon, and according to figures relayed by best from the property managers, there were at least 23 complaints in 2017 at two pinewood village developments and at huron landing combined. Breckenridge has poop stations with green bags placed at various locations and trailheads throughout town. Still, breckenridge town staff have fielded numerous complaints about tenants at the four town-owned apartment complexes not cleaning up after their pets. As a result, the town is considering DNA testing the dogs.Testing dogs photo by eli pace/summit daily

Numbers weren’t available for the fourth complex, but the other three account for 145 of the town’s 175 apartment units. With 48 registered dogs living in just those units, it’s a safe assumption about one-third of the town’s tenants have dogs.

Based on the town’s rules for renters, failing to clean up after one of them warrants a written warning on the first offense. The second infraction comes with a $100 fine, and a third runs $500. Any additional violations can lead to eviction.

He said the program only works in controlled communities, like an HOA or apartment complex, but once implemented, it’s a highly effective tool for reducing uncollected dog poop.Testing dogs

The way it works is the owner of an apartment complex, for example, would enter into a contract with the company and start including a stipulation about DNA testing pets in the residents’ leases.

All of the dogs living in the community would then have their cheeks swabbed, johnson said, allowing the company to create DNA profiles for them.

It typically costs about $40-50 per dog for the initial testing, johnson explained, adding that most properties will see a 70-90 percent reduction in uncollected dog feces immediately upon the initial testing.

Once that’s all complete, he said, pet scoop can test any uncollected waste left on the property and match it to a dog in the database, provided the pooper has been previously tested.Testing dogs those follow-up tests generally run about $60-$80 each.

Right now, pet scoop is offering the pooprints service statewide and working with about 60-70 communities on the front range on DNA testing dogs, explained johnson, who said a community can expect a 90-95 percent overall reduction in uncollected dog feces after the program’s been in place long enough for residents to become aware of it.

Uncollected dog feces isn’t just a public nuisance, said dan hendershott, environmental health manager at the summit county public health department.

“we do have health-related concerns when it comes to excessive dog feces,” he explained, adding that it has has tested positive for a number of pathogens, including giardia, E.Testing dogs coli, salmonella, campylobacter, cryptosporidium, roundworm and hookworm.

According to staff at summit county animal control, some parasites and diseases in dogs that can be transmitted from one pup to another via their feces.

There are other environmental concerns, as well, and precipitation events, like melting snowfall and rain, can carry the pathogens into nearby waterways, increasing the opportunity for human exposure.

“there is enough evidence showing the potential for disease transmission that the public health department is concerned with this potential, first and foremost,” hendershott said.

In conjunction with the county, the breckenridge open space and trials department manages almost 50 miles of trails, mainly in and outside of town, and officials there also know uncollected dog poop is more than just an unsightly occurrence.Apartment complex

Tony overlock, a specialist within the department, said the dog-poop issue always seems pop up about the same time every year, whether it’s inside town or along the many nearby trails and paths the department keeps an eye on.

“it’s definitely an issue,” he said, adding they try to manage it through education, signage and having poop-bag stations at most popular trailheads, much in the same way breckenridge, its police force and other summit county towns do.

Per the law, a first offense comes with a $50 fine, with the fee jumping on the second and third offenses within 18 months to $100 and $200, respectively.

“we have not written a ticket to anyone citing this ordinance, nor do I have any set numbers on complaints being made,” said colleen goettelman, a supervisor at the police department.Apartment complex

She said it’s not the easiest thing to catch in the act, but “we do know it’s an issue, especially when the weather warms up and melting begins.”

Even though police haven’t been heavy handed on enforcement, she said, they have done campaigns trying to get people to be more responsible pet-owners.

banner