Tired of feces-filled communal open spaces, property managers like the ones at Legends, an upscale apartment complex in Montgomery, Ala., are now using DNA testing to determine which pile of poo came from which dog -- and which owner failed to pick it up, WZZM-13 reports.
And according to property manager Joe Johnson, the tactic is working well.
"We sent out letters to residents about what we were going to do," Johnson told the station. "The problem of owners not cleaning up after their dogs just disappeared."
PooPrints, the company used to catch lazy dog owners, is a division of BioVet Pet Lab based out of Knoxville, Tenn., and works with property managers in 28 states.
Clients -- in this case property managers -- collect samples found in communal areas, then send them to a lab where the DNA is matched not just to the pet, but to the apartment number of the pet's owner, who has provided a sample beforehand. Depending on enforcement rules, the tenant will then receive a warning or fine.
In addition to cleaner yards and sidewalks, the DNA matching might also result in healthier pets and people.
The Huffington Post's Lynne Peeples spoke to Dr. Emily Beeler, an animal disease surveillance veterinarian for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who said that while poop may seem less gross as it decomposes, it may actually become more dangerous for humans and their canine companions over time.
"It takes many types of parasite eggs a while to ripen," Beeler told HuffPost.
Roundworm, for example, can take up to three weeks to become infectious and can remain dangerous for years in contaminated soil and water.