Dallas renters face eviction if they fail to pick up after pets

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 5 at 6:16 PM

DALLAS — Managing man's best friend is Joshuah Welch's full-time job. He runs the Ilume apartment community in Dallas.

"They're going to go poo in the morning and the afternoon," he said. "Here at Illume property, we have 300 dogs on site. That's 600 poos a day. Of those, I guarantee 25 percent will not be picked up. Then we have 100 land mines all over my building."

Welch said it’s unsightly, unhealthy, and unsafe.

So he's using PooPrints, a DNA tracking system, to clean things up. Pet owners are required to submit their canine to a simple test.

“We give them a biscuit, swab the cheek, and it’s over,” Welch explained. With the doggie DNA on file, if an owner doesn't pick up the mess, Welch collects the sample and sends it off to the lab.

“People never thought I would be on my hands and knees collecting this poo from the ground, but once you get busted once, it proves a point that we are serious,” Welch said.

Cedric Moses with PooPrints says the issue is affecting our storm water runoff, and thus, eventually our drinking water.

“The environmental impact is ridiculous right now," he said. "You even have your own department within the city saying, 'Hey, we have a problem, can you help us resolve it?"

The Dallas City Council will hear from Moses on Wednesday. There is a city ordinance on the issue of dog droppings; there's just no way of truly enforcing it.

“Right now Dallas has an equivalent of 1.8 million dogs registered; several years there were 1.2, and they were equating that to 900,000 pounds of dog poo a day," Moses said. "That's about 1.3 pounds of poo per day per dog in the city of Dallas."

If a dog owner at Ilume fails to pick up after his pet, he faces a $250 fine. A second offense could lead to eviction.

“I would say it’s a perk to live here, because you know your chances of stepping on a 'land mine' or poo is slim to none," Moses said. "If you do, I guarantee that person probably won't be here the next month."

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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