One landlord wants to use DNA to track down dog poop scofflaws


Fido might not be able to get away with going No. 2 on your neighbor’s lawn anymore. Not in Pullman, Washington, anyway.

According to an editorial in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, an unnamed landlord in Pullman will soon ask tenants at his apartment complex with dogs to submit DNA samples via cheek swab to be stored in a laboratory. When an “errant poop” appears, the sample will be tested and matched with dogs’ information in the laboratory and the owner will be fined.

Charlie Powell, a public information officer at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine who authored the editorial, questioned the legality of the landlord’s intentions.

“The Evergreen State takes very seriously the issue of privacy,” he wrote. “They don't cotton much to DNA databases and random cheek swabs in people and my guess is a sharp-eyed pro bono attorney will let some forlorn landlord know about it in dogs, too.”

He also estimated that a testing “starter kit” could cost anywhere between $1,100 and $2,200, with an individual sample submission costing $35 a piece.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz