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Boulder Considering Using DNA To Catch Careless Dog Owners

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder is considering a unique way to catch people who don't clean up after their dogs.

The idea is testing DNA from dog waste to help track down pet owners who fail to clean up after their animals.

"I think it's a little wacky personally," said Boulder resident Noal Amir.

It's an idea brought to the Boulder City Council.

"I think it's a good idea. It seems like it would be a lot of work to get that implemented," said dog owner Monica Sutphen.

Local dog owners might not be sure about the idea but a city council member has asked the parks department to investigate.

Sam Johnson, president of "Pet Scoop" in Denver, is already distributing a program that he says works.

"Pooprints is really the only DNA based pet waste management program. It was designed because of the issues of irresponsible pet owners not being accountable for picking up their dog waste," said Johnson.

Johnson says the DNA testing is already used by more than a dozen home owners associations in the Denver area.

Hey says the process is easy, collect a swab of DNA from inside the dog's mouth, then send to a lab where it's stored in a database.

"They can basically match that waste sample to all of the dogs that are registered in the database for that particular community," said Johnson.

While it's simply an idea right now, Boulder dog owners think there might be a simpler solution to the problem.

"I think a more feasible idea would be to set up more bag stations," said Sutphen.

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