Dog Dung Data Means There’s Money In Muck

Owning a pet comes with certain responsibilities and none more so than in the state of Tennessee where dog owners are not only expected to clean up ‘doggy-dos’ on the street, but also submit a DNA sample from their canine’s saliva to a worldwide database.

And should someone comes across an unscooped pile, they take a sample, mail it to BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville where a DNA match identifies the offender and its owner.

The aptly named system, Poo Prints, charges $29.99 for the swabbing kit, $10 for a vial to hold the samples and $50 for the lab analysis which is usually completed within two weeks.

According to BioPet Vet Lab CEO Tom Boyd, “The problem of pet owners not picking up after their pets is tearing apart communities. It’s no wonder that Consumer Reports lists ‘dog poop’ as one of the nation’s top ten personal gripes. We used our research in animal DNA identification systems to help provide community leaders with a tool to bring peace back to the neighborhood.”

He goes on to say that he sees his system as a benefit for the nation’s health: “In the United States alone, the nation’s 73 million dogs generate approximately 6.3 billion pounds of waste annually. Approximately 40%, or 2.5 billion pounds, is never picked up by owners. Indeed, dog feces is a bacterial breeding ground of diseases that are especially dangerous to children and others with weakened immune systems.”

One wonders if this database system would crash under the ‘weight of evidence’ if they ever tried to roll it out in France!

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is a retired international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region.
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