“Wow! Wow!” That’s all I can say.

I was reading an article my editor found, and it made me gasp. Not because it offended me. It just appalled me.

An apartment complex in Massachusetts is using DNA to determine which dog living there left a present in the grass that its owner didn’t clean up.

Yes, you read right. DNA testing to determine who poo-pooed in the grass.

Granted, the apartment complex does have a lot of dogs living there. It is a 339-unit complex that has 241 dogs. But DNA testing? Really? Are there that many pet owners refusing to take responsibility? That is just sad!

When a dog owner moves in to the complex, they have to leave a doggie deposit of sorts. The owner has to swab the dog’s cheek for saliva. The saliva is sent to a company called BioPet, which creates a reference database that includes all the community’s canines.

I guess it wasn’t just the fact that they were using DNA for that purpose, but another statistic that was mentioned in the story.

According to Consumer Reports, the problem of dog excrement hit No. 6 on the list of America’s top gripes last year.

I guess I just think DNA testing should be used for court or medical situations. Not for figuring out who pooped in the yard.

Whatever happened to responsible pet ownership? That is my question! When you adopt an animal, no matter what type, dog, cat, horse, turtle, rabbit, whatever, there are some chores that come along with it. Cleaning up after it is one of them. Food and water is also a requirement. Companionship is another one.

It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to comprehend. Yet, many pet owners can’t get it. I see it all the time.

In fact, near my niece’s school, there is a house with a box at the end of the yard. In the box are small bags to encourage dog owners to clean up what the dog may leave behind.

I guess the DNA testing also goes to show that our society isn’t what it used to be. I mean, if you are a responsible adult, shouldn’t you own up to what your pets do? I would think you would stand up and take responsibility instead of waiting for a test to determine who did leave an unwanted memento in the yard.

It just seems like it would be the neighborly thing to do. I mean, after all, if you are living in a complex with more than 250 dogs, doesn’t it mean you should strive to get along?

I guess maybe I just treasure pet ownership. My dog Tiffany and I are best buddies. I take her as a gift and think if I have to clean up some presents left behind, then it’s all worth it!

If you want that dog, get out there and do the work! Be responsible and clean up after your dog.

(And yes, I’m one of those people with the fluffy dogs! That is my Tiffany and the farm dog, Mack the Boxer.)

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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