Dallas Renters Face Eviction if They Fail to Pick Up After Pets
by Shelly Slater
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.
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This story about PooPrints Texas was recently published in D Magazine’s October 2012 issue. Thanks to writer Krista Nightengale for an great article.
As he walks down a hallway of the Ilume Cedar Springs apartments, manager Joshuah Welch points out a spot on the carpet. It looks like a squashed Hershey’s Kiss. He thinks it’s the result of a dog with diarrhea.
“That’s considered not picked up,” he says. He stops in front of apartment No. 1337 and knocks on the door.
At length, a young man in wrinkled khaki shorts and a blue polo opens the door. He is bending over, holding the collar of a rambunctious terrier. “We have a little problem,” Welch says. “Tracking No. 887 had some poop found in the dog run.”
“Which one?” the resident asks as the other of his two terriers attempts to make a run for it.
“Eight-eight-seven,” Welch tells him. “Whichever one of these is 887.”
Both Welch and the resident give little nervous snorts. “So it was found in the dog run. Do you remember having them last week out there?”
“I was actually out of town last week. I had a dog walker watching them.” The excuse is exactly what Welch expected to hear. It’s been used a time or two before.
“I know this sucks,” Welch says, “but you’re responsible for your dog. The $250 is a one-time fee. You can pay that on next month’s rent, or one of your dogs will have to be removed.” At this, the jaw of the young man in apartment No. 1337 quivers a little.
After a few more details, Welch turns to walk away. “I’d probably fire your dog walker,” he says over his shoulder.
This is the sixth bust 30-year-old Welch has made in the 60 days since the PooPrints program, at his suggestion, was implemented at the apartment complex in June. Sitting in his office, where he interviews all dogs before their owners sign leases, he succinctly describes how PooPrints works. When a resident with a pet signs a lease, the dog’s cheek is swabbed. This sample is sent to the BioPet Vet Lab in Tennessee, which extracts the dog’s DNA and keeps it on file…
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